(Tu-chung) is an economically and ecologically important tree species which has attracted worldwide attention due to its application in pharmacology, landscaping, wind sheltering and sand fixation. Molecular marker technologies can elucidate the genetic mechanism and substantially improve the breeding efficiency of E. ulmoides
. The current research updated the original linkage map, and quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis was performed on tree growth traits measured over 10 consecutive years in an E. ulmoides
F1 population (“Xiaoye” × “Qinzhong No.1”). In total, 452 polymorphic markers were scored from 365 simple sequence repeat (SSR) primers, with an average of 1.24 polymorphic markers per primer combination. The integrated map was 1913.29 cM (centimorgan) long, covering 94.10% of the estimated genome and with an average marker density of 2.20 cM. A total of 869 markers were mapped into 19 major independent linkage groups. Growth-related traits measured over 10 consecutive years showed a significant correlation, and 89 hypothetical QTLs were forecasted and divided into 27 distinct loci. Three traits for tree height, ground diameter and crown diameter detected 25 QTLs (13 loci), 32 QTLs (17 loci) and 15 QTLs (10 loci), respectively. Based on BLASTX search results in the NCBI database, six candidate genes were obtained. It is important to explore the growth-related genetic mechanism and lay the foundation for the genetic improvement of E. ulmoides
at the molecular level.
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