Genetic analysis of plant architecture in sorghum
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Plant architecture is the three-dimensional organization of the plant body. Above-ground architecture is determined by the size, shape and positions of leaves, stems and flowers; and underground architecture by roots and rhizomes. We conduct quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping in a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from two morphologically distinct parents, S. bicolor and S. propinquum, to identify genomic regions responsible for vegetative branching pattern and rhizomatousness, respectively, and to facilitate comparisons between these two traits and among their respective components. We show overlapping genetic control of above-ground and below-ground plant architecture, validate quantitative trait loci (QTLs) previously reported in an F2 population of the same cross, and discover additional QTLs. Understanding the genetic determinants of plant architecture sheds new light on genetic manipulation of plants for a variety of purposes, and advances progress towards identification of underlying genes that may contribute to plant growth regulation.