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Article|19 Feb 2022|OPEN
New insights into flowering date in Prunus: fine mapping of a major QTL in sweet cherry
Camille Branchereau1 , José Quero-García1 , , Nathalia Helena Zaracho-Echagüe2,3 , Laurine Lambelin1 , Mathieu Fouché1 , Bénédicte Wenden1 , Armel Donkpegan4 , Loïck Le Dantec1 , Teresa Barreneche1 , David Alletru5 and Julien Parmentier5 , Elisabeth Dirlewanger,1 ,
1INRAE, Univ. Bordeaux, UMR Biologie du Fruit et Pathologie, 33882 Villenave d’Ornon, France
2Centre for Research in Agricultural Genomics (CRAG) CSIC-IRTA-UAB-UB, Campus UAB, 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona, Spain
3IRTA, Centre de Recerca en Agrigenómica CSIC-IRTAUAB-UB, Campus UAB, Bellaterra, 08193 Barcelona, Spain
4SYSAAF-Centre INRAE Val de Loire, UMR BOA, 37380 Nouzilly France
5INRAE, UE 0393, Unité Expérimentale Arboricole, F-33210 Toulenne, France
*Corresponding author. E-mail:,

Horticulture Research 9,
Article number: uhac042 (2022)
Views: 17

Received: 30 Jul 2021
Accepted: 04 Feb 2022
Published online: 19 Feb 2022


Flowering date is an important trait in Prunus fruit species, especially for their adaptation in a global warming context. Numerous quantitative trait loci (QTLs) have been identified and a major one was previously located on LG4. The objectives of this study were to fine-map this QTL in sweet cherry, to identify robust candidate genes by using the new sweet cherry genome sequence of the cultivar “Regina” and to define markers usable in marker-assisted selection (MAS). We performed QTL analyses on two populations derived from crosses using cultivars “Regina” and “Garnet” as parents. The first one (n = 117) was phenotyped over ten years, while the second one (n = 1386) was evaluated during three years. Kompetitive allele specific PCR (KASP) markers located within the QTL region on LG4 were developed and mapped within this region, consisting in the first fine mapping in sweet cherry. The QTL interval was narrowed from 380 kb to 68 kb and candidate genes were identified by using the genome sequence of “Regina”. Their expression was analyzed from bud dormancy period to flowering in cultivars “Regina” and “Garnet”. Several genes, such as PavBOI-E3, PavSR45a and PavSAUR71, were differentially expressed in these two cultivars and could be then considered as promising candidate genes. Two KASP markers were validated using a population derived from a cross between cultivars “Regina” and “Lapins” and two collections, including landraces and modern cultivars. Thanks to the high synteny within the Prunus genus, these results give new insights into the control of flowering date in Prunus species and pave the way for the development of molecular breeding strategies.