Quantitative Investigation of Flowering Trait Genes in Brassica rapa aimed at Enhancing Genetics Education – Alexander Lopez, Noah Richter, Jacob Zasada

This study seeks to determine the location and nature of genes that control flowering in Brassica rapa, a model organism used for teaching genetics principles, for future application in classroom settings. Time and height of first flower were recorded for 371 self-breeding, homozygous B. rapa families derived from three parental lineages. BLAST comparisons with Arabidopsis thaliana, a closely-related species, were used to identify likely gene locations in B. rapa. We performed a quantitative trait loci (QTL) statistical analysis which uses family crosses and trait inheritance patterns to approximate gene location. Ultimately analogous methods may be used as an educational tool for instruction in introductory genetic principles such as recombination, inheritance, and incomplete dominance.