Marker Assisted Selection for Relative Water Content, Excised leaf Water Loss and Cell Membrane Stability in Cotton

Muhammad Asif Saleem, Muhammad Waqas Amjid, Muhammad Qadir Ahmad, Etrat Noor, Abdul Qayyum, Masood Iqbal Awan, Muhammad Asif, Muhammad Nauman


Background: Drought stress is a major limitation in agricultural productivity. In cotton, drought tolerance is a multi-genic trait. The quantitative trait loci (QTLs), conferring drought tolerance in cotton, could be exploited for stress breeding using marker assisted selection.

Methods: We have screened drought related varieties of Pakistan using DNA markers to identify reported QTLs for drought tolerance. A total of 44 of these varieties were selected. All varieties were sown in the field to record relative water content, excised leaf water loss and cell membrane stability under drought stress condition. QTLs for relative water content, excised leaf water loss and cell membrane stability were checked from all varieties by using DNA markers NAU-2954, NAU-2715, NAU-6672, NAU-8406 and NAU-6790.

Results: Genotypic and phenotypic results showed that the QTL for relative water content qtlRWC-1 present on chromosome 23, linked marker NAU-2954, could be a major QTL conferring drought tolerance in cotton. Using Marker Assisted Selection the variety CRIS-134 showed all concerned QTLs for drought tolerance.

Conclusion: QTL for relative water content qtlRWC-1 could be a major QTL for drought stress tolerance in cotton. The variety CRIS-134 may be used for breeding drought tolerant cultivar.

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