Genetic analysis of Chinese cabbage reveals correlation between rosette leaf and leafy head variation

Xiao Xue Sun, Shuangxia Luo, Lei Luo, Xing Wang, Xueping Chen, Yin Lu, Shuxing Shen*, Jianjun Zhao, Guusje Bonnema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


To understand the genetic regulation of the domestication trait leafy-head formation of Chinese cabbages, we exploit the diversity within Brassica rapa. To improve our understanding of the relationship between variation in rosette-leaves and leafy heads, we phenotyped a diversity set of 152 Chinese cabbages. This showed correlation between rosette-leaf traits and both head traits and heading capacity. Interestingly, the leaf number of the mature head is not correlated to heading degree nor head shape. We then chose a non-heading pak choi genotype to cross to a Chinese cabbage to generate populations segregating for the leafy head traits. Both a large F2 (485 plants) and a smaller Doubled Haploid (88 lines) mapping population were generated. A high density DH-88 genetic map using the Brassica SNP array and an F2 map with a subset of these SNPs and InDel markers was used for quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis. Thirty-one quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified for phenotypes of rosette-leaves in time and both heading degree and several heading traits. On chromosome A06 in both DH-88 and F2-485 QTLs for rosette leaf length and petiole length at different developmental days and an F2 QTL for head height co-located. Variation in head height, width and weight all correlate with variation in heading degree with co-locating QTLs, respectively, on chromosome A03, A05, and A08 in F2-485. The correlation between rosette-leaf and heading traits provides not only insight in the leaf requirements to form a head, but also can be used for selection by Chinese cabbage breeders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1455
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - 4 Oct 2018


  • Chinese cabbage
  • Co-location of QTLs
  • Correlation
  • Heading degree
  • Leafy head
  • Rosette leaf

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