The first quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis of multiple agronomic traits in the model legume Lotus japonicus was performed with a population of recombinant inbred lines derived from Miyakojima MG-20 x Gifu B-129. Thirteen agronomic traits were evaluated in 2004 and 2005: traits of vegetative parts (plant height, stem thickness, leaf length, leaf width, plant regrowth, plant shape, and stem color), flowering traits (flowering time and degree), and pod and seed traits (pod length, pod width, seeds per pod, and seed mass). A total of 40 QTLs were detected that explained 5%-69% of total variation. The QTL that explained the most variation was that for stem color, which was detected in the same region of chromosome 2 in both years. Some QTLs were colocated, especially those for pod and seed traits. Seed mass QTLs were located at 5 locations that mapped to the corresponding genomic positions of equivalent QTLs in soybean, pea, chickpea, and mung bean. This study provides fundamental information for breeding of agronomically important legume crops.
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