Identification of QTLs and Candidate Genes Related to Flower Traits and Bolting Time in Raphanus sativus
Radish flower color, bolting time, and flowering time are important traits for attracting certain pollinators and affect fleshy root quality. In this study, an analysis of the anthocyanidins in radish flowers by high-performance liquid chromatography revealed that differences in the cyanidin content are likely to be associated with the variability in radish flower colors (i.e., purple and white petals). A quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis identified nine QTLs on three Raphanus sativus
... ge groups. Three QTLs—qRFC1, qRBT1, and qRFT1—which were consistently detected and explained a high proportion of the observed variation (10.30% to 34.57%), were considered as the major QTLs responsible for flower color, bolting time, and flowering time, respectively. A total of 16 and 11 candidate genes within the major QTL regions for flower color and bolting/flowering times, respectively, were preliminarily annotated. Six genes (Rs018140, Rs018950, Rs019220, Rs020080, Rs020590, and Rs021450) related to flower color were differentially expressed in the parental lines. On the basis of nucleotide and amino acid sequence diversity between the parental lines, Rs314940, Rs315000, Rs315310, and Rs315960 were identified as candidate genes mediating the radish bolting and flowering times. This study revealed the genetic complexity of the radish flower color, bolting time, and flowering time traits. The identified candidate genes in the QTL regions may be useful for radish breeding programs and also for functional characterization in radish.