Mapping quantitative trait loci to understand seed size variation in Camelina sativa
King, Kevin Allen
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Camelina sativa (L.) Crantz is an emerging Brassica oilseed crop. Camelina oil is high in polyunsaturated C18-fatty acids and its uses range from bio-fuels and bio-lubricants to an animal feed additive and cooking oils. A major breeding objective for camelina is to develop varieties with increased seed size. Understanding the genetics behind seed size variation would help breeders develop varieties that are more robust, easier to plant and harvest, better for oil processing, and could increase oil yield. For this study, a genetic linkage map was created and quantitative traits loci (QTL) were identified for eight agronomic traits using a bi-parental recombinant inbred population created between the two Camelina varieties: 'Suneson,' which has an average seed area of 1.35 mm2, and 'Pryzeth' with an average seed area of 2.24 mm2. Field trials were conducted in 2017 and 2018 in both dryland and irrigated treatments in Bozeman, Montana. Significant QTL were discovered for seed size and other agronomic traits measured, including flowering time, pod size, seed weight, and oil content. The results of this study could lead to marker-assisted breeding for varieties better adapted to modern agriculture.