Understanding the genetic architecture of adventitious root and related shoot traits will facilitate the cultivation of superior genotypes. In this study, we measured 12 adventitious root and related shoot traits of 434 F1
genotypes originating from Populus deltoides
‘Danhong’ × Populus simonii
‘Tongliao1’ and conducted an integrative analysis of quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping and RNA-Seq data to dissect their genetic architecture and regulatory genes. Extensive segregation, high repeatability, and significant correlation relationship were detected for the investigated traits. A total of 150 QTLs were associated with adventitious root traits, explaining 3.1–6.1% of phenotypic variation (PVE); while 83 QTLs were associated with shoot traits, explaining 3.1–19.8% of PVE. Twenty-five QTL clusters and 40 QTL hotspots were identified for the investigated traits. Ten QTL clusters were overlapped in both adventitious root traits and related shoot traits. Transcriptome analysis identified 10,172 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) among two parents, three fine rooting and three poor-rooting genotypes, 143 of which were physically located within the QTL intervals. K-means cluster and weighted gene co-expression network analysis showed that PtAAAP19
) encoding amino acid transport protein was tightly associated with adventitious roots and highly expressed in fine-rooting genotypes. Compare with ‘Danhong’, 153 bp deletion in the coding sequence of PtAAAP19
in ‘Tongliao1’ gave rise to lack one transmembrane domain, which might cause the variation of adventitious roots. Taken together, this study deciphered the genetic basis of adventitious root and related shoot traits and provided potential function genes for genetic improvement of poplar breeding.
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