QTL analysis of seed yield components in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.)

Herrmann, Doris; Boller, Beat; Studer, Bruno; Widmer, Franco; Kölliker, Roland (2006). QTL analysis of seed yield components in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 112(3), pp. 536-545. Springer 10.1007/s00122-005-0158-1

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Cultivars of red clover (Trifolium pratense L.), an important forage crop in temperate regions, are often characterised by an unsatisfactory level of seed yield, leading to high production costs. This complex trait is influenced by many components and negatively correlated with other important traits, such as forage yield or persistence. Therefore, seed yield has proven to be difficult to improve. Thus, the objectives of this study were to assess association among seed yield components and to provide the basis for identifying molecular markers linked to QTLs for seed yield components to assist breeding for improved red clover cultivars. A total of 42 SSR and 216 AFLP loci were used to construct a molecular linkage map with a total map length of 444.2 cM and an average distance between loci of 1.7 cM. A total of 38 QTLs were identified for eight seed yield components. The traits seed number per plant, seed yield per head, seed number per head, head number per plant and percent seed set were highly correlated with seed yield per plant, and QTLs for several of these traits were often detected in the same genome region. Head number per plant may present a particularly useful character for the improvement of seed yield since it can easily be determined before seed maturity. In addition, two genome regions containing four or five QTLs for different seed yield components, respectively, were identified representing candidate regions for further characterisation of QTLs. This study revealed several key components which may facilitate further improvement of seed yield. The QTLs identified represent an important first step towards marker-assisted breeding in red clover.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Sciences HAFL


Herrmann, Doris0000-0002-1776-9479;
Boller, Beat;
Studer, Bruno;
Widmer, Franco and
Kölliker, Roland


S Agriculture > SB Plant culture








Doris Herrmann

Date Deposited:

04 Aug 2021 09:04

Last Modified:

11 Oct 2021 02:18

Publisher DOI:






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