High density linkage maps, genetic architecture, and genomic prediction of growth and wood properties in Pinus radiata

Jules S. Freeman*, Gancho T. Slavov, Jakob B. Butler, Tancred Frickey, Natalie J. Graham, Jaroslav Klápště, John Lee, Emily J. Telfer, Phillip Wilcox, Heidi S. Dungey

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)
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The growing availability of genomic resources in radiata pine paves the way for significant advances in fundamental and applied genomic research. We constructed robust high-density linkage maps based on exome-capture genotyping in two F1 populations, and used these populations to perform quantitative trait locus (QTL) scans, genomic prediction and quantitative analyses of genetic architecture for key traits targeted by tree improvement programmes.

Our mapping approach used probabilistic error correction of the marker data, followed by an iterative approach based on stringent parameters. This approach proved highly effective in producing high-density maps with robust marker orders and realistic map lengths (1285–4674 markers per map, with sizes ranging from c. 1643–2292 cM, and mean marker intervals of 0.7–2.1 cM). Colinearity was high between parental linkage maps, although there was evidence for a large chromosomal rearrangement (affecting ~ 90 cM) in one of the parental maps. In total, 28 QTL were detected for growth (stem diameter) and wood properties (wood density and fibre properties measured by Silviscan) in the QTL discovery population, with 1–3 QTL of small to moderate effect size detected per trait in each parental map. Four of these QTL were validated in a second, unrelated F1 population. Results from genomic prediction and analyses of genetic architecture were consistent with those from QTL scans, with wood properties generally having moderate to high genomic heritabilities and predictive abilities, as well as somewhat less complex genetic architectures, compared to growth traits.

Despite the economic importance of radiata pine as a plantation forest tree, robust high-density linkage maps constructed from reproducible, sequence-anchored markers have not been published to date. The maps produced in this study will be a valuable resource for several applications, including the selection of marker panels for genomic prediction and anchoring a recently completed de novo whole genome assembly. We also provide the first map-based evidence for a large genomic rearrangement in radiata pine. Finally, results from our QTL scans, genomic prediction, and genetic architecture analyses are informative about the genomic basis of variation in important phenotypic traits.
Original languageEnglish
Article number731
Number of pages16
JournalBMC Genomics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 28 Oct 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Chromosomal rearrangement
  • Quantitative trait loci
  • Radiata pine
  • Single-nucleotide polymorphisms
  • Within-family genomic prediction
  • Chromosome Mapping/methods
  • Genomics
  • Pinus/genetics
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Wood/genetics
  • Genetic Linkage


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