The University of Southampton
University of Southampton Institutional Repository

QTL for shelf life in lettuce co-locate with those for leaf biophysical properties but not for leaf developmental traits

Zhang, Fang Z., Wagstaff, Carol, Rae, Anne M., Sihota, Arinder K., Keevil, C. William, Rothwell, Steve D., Clarkson, Graham J. J., Michelmore, Richard W., Truco, Maria Jose, Dixon, Mark S. and Taylor, Gail (2007) QTL for shelf life in lettuce co-locate with those for leaf biophysical properties but not for leaf developmental traits Journal of Experimental Botany, 58, (6), pp. 1433-1449. (doi:10.1093/jxb/erm006). (PMID:17347132).

Record type: Article


Developmental and biophysical leaf characteristics that influence post-harvest shelf life in lettuce, an important leafy crop, have been examined. The traits were studied using 60 informative F9 recombinant inbreed lines (RILs) derived from a cross between cultivated lettuce (Lactuca sativa cv. Salinas) and wild lettuce (L. serriola acc. UC96US23). Quantitative Trait Loci (QTL) for shelf life co-located most closely with those for leaf biophysical properties such as plasticity, elasticity and breakstrength suggesting that these are appropriate targets for molecular breeding for improved shelf life. Significant correlations were found between shelf life with leaf size, leaf weight, leaf chlorophyll content, leaf stomatal index and epidermal cell number per leaf, indicating that these pre-harvest leaf development traits confer postharvest properties.

By studying the population in two contrasting environments in northern and southern Europe, the genotype by environment interaction effects of the QTL relevant to leaf development and shelf life were assessed. In total 107 QTL, distributed on all nine linkage groups, were detected from the 29 traits. Only five QTL were common in both environments. Several areas where many QTL co-located (hotspots) on the genome were identified, with relatively little overlap between developmental hotspots and those relating to shelf life. However, QTL for leaf biophysical properties (breakstrength, plasticity and elasticity) and cell area correlated well with shelf life, confirming that the ideal ideotype lettuce should have small cells with strong cell walls. The identification of QTL for leaf development, strength and longevity will lead to a better understanding of processability at a genetic and cellular level, and allow the improvement of salad leaf quality through marker assisted breeding.

Microsoft Word Zhang_et_al_JXB_decision_accept.doc - Author's Original
Download (1MB)
PDF QTLs_for_shelf_life_in_lettuce_co-locate_with_those_for_leaf_biophysical_properties_but_not_with_those_for_leaf_developmental_traits.pdf - Version of Record
Restricted to Repository staff only
Download (586kB)

More information

Published date: 2007
Additional Information: Research paper
Keywords: biophysical, biomechanical properties, leaf development, lettuce, microbiology, post-harvest, QTLs, shelf life


Local EPrints ID: 40509
ISSN: 0022-0957
PURE UUID: fc75966b-7205-4f83-afe3-1256eeaabcab
ORCID for C. William Keevil: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Feb 2007
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 15:34

Export record



Author: Fang Z. Zhang
Author: Carol Wagstaff
Author: Anne M. Rae
Author: Arinder K. Sihota
Author: Steve D. Rothwell
Author: Graham J. J. Clarkson
Author: Richard W. Michelmore
Author: Maria Jose Truco
Author: Mark S. Dixon
Author: Gail Taylor

University divisions

Download statistics

Downloads from ePrints over the past year. Other digital versions may also be available to download e.g. from the publisher's website.

View more statistics

Atom RSS 1.0 RSS 2.0

Contact ePrints Soton:

ePrints Soton supports OAI 2.0 with a base URL of

This repository has been built using EPrints software, developed at the University of Southampton, but available to everyone to use.

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we will assume that you are happy to receive cookies on the University of Southampton website.