Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Renewable Natural Resources

Document Type



The delay in early height growth (EHG) has been a limiting factor for artificial regeneration of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.). Simple Sequence Repeat (SSR) markers have been used to map the genome and quantitative trait loci controlling the EHG in a backcross family (longleaf pine x slash pine) x longleaf pine. A total of 228 locus specific SSR markers were screened against 6 longleaf pine recurrent parents and a sample of 7 longlef x slash pine hybrid parents. In total, 135 polymorphic markers were identified. Based on the genetic variance in EHG, available sample size, and the number of SSR marker polymorphisms, a half-sib family with a common paternal parent (Derr488) and 6 longleaf maternal parents were selected from 27 backcross families as the final mapping population. One hundred and twenty three (123) polymorphic markers showed polymorphisms across the half-sib family. An individual linkage map was built for each full-sib family first, and then the linkage maps from different full-sib families were integrated by common orthologous SSR markers with software JoinMap (ver3.0). There were 112 polymorphic markers mapped to the integrated map which contained 16 linkage groups. The observed map length was 1874.3 cM and covered 79.85% of genome. The estimated 95% confidence interval for genome length was 1781.3-2411.6 cM. Seventeen (17) QTLs were identified by single marker regression using 305 backcross progenies. For the interval mapping, the tallest and shortest 8 percent of seedlings were selected for QTL detection (phase I), and then random selections of 8 percent of the seedlings from the rest of the population and 25 seedlings from both tails of the within family distributions were used for unbiased QTL verification and mapping (phase II). Nine QTLs were detected and verified as associated with the 5 growth traits under P=0.05 chromosome-wide threshold. There was only weak evidence of QTL stability during the three years of growth under this study.



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Committee Chair

Dean, Thomas J