Smut disease of sugarcane causes considerable yield losses and the use of resistant varieties is the best control practice. Our group identified a Japanese wild sugarcane with highly smut disease resistance named ‘Iriomote8’. In this study, we conducted QTL analysis for smut disease resistance using a mapping population derived from a resistant variety ‘Yaenoushie’, in which resistance is inherited from ‘Iriomote8’. We identified 4813 non-redundant markers using GRAS-Di technology and developed a linkage map of mapping parents. We evaluated smut disease resistance of the mapping population by the inoculation test. Consequently, a large number of clones did not show the disease symptoms and the distribution of smut disease incidence tended to be “L shaped”. Composite interval mapping detected an identical QTL for indices of smut disease incidence with a markedly high LOD score (26.6~45.6) at the end of linkage group 8 of ‘Yaenoushie’. This QTL explained approximately 50% of the cases of smut disease incidence. In the mapping population, there were no correlations between the indices of smut disease incidence and other agronomic traits. In conclusion, this QTL could be used for marker-assisted selection to significantly improve smut disease resistance without negative effects on other agronomic traits.
Dietary fiber has high functional value in relation to gut flora. We searched for a high-lysine mutant of the most popular rice cultivar in Japan, ‘Koshihikari’, as a route to a higher dietary fiber content like a success case in new barley cultivar, ‘Beau-fiber’. We found several promising high-lysine mutants with high dietary fiber content. One of these, ‘WFE5’, has three times the dietary fiber content in white rice. Two rounds of backcrossing to Koshihikari produced a near-isogenic line with a high fiber content. The line’s agronomic traits were close to those of Koshihikari except for yield and eating quality. As these two traits are critical, we discuss how to improve them.
Soybean red crown rot (RCR) caused by Calonectria ilicicola is a serious soil-borne disease affecting soybean production and quality. The current visual necrosis-based method for the measurement of RCR severity is prone to subjectivity as well as time consuming and laborious as it requires digging out and washing the roots to remove adhering soil prior to the visual scoring. Using cultivar Enrei, we show that, upon C. ilicicola infection, relative fresh weights (RFW; fresh weights relative to non-inoculated control plants) showed a significant negative correlation with visual RCR severity in apical shoot (trifoliate and above, R2 = 0.96), shoot (unifoliate and above, R2 = 0.82) and roots (R2 = 0.89). Furthermore, apical shoot RFW efficiently correlated with varying levels of C. ilicicola resistance in two test sets containing 37 soybean cultivars and three wild soybean accessions, exhibiting a significant correlation with visual severity (R2 = 0.72 and 0.79, p < 0.01). Taken together, our results suggest that RFW can serve as an index of soybean RCR severity, providing a simple, rapid, consistent, and cost-effective method for evaluating C. ilicicola resistance in soybeans.
In soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merrill], the genetic analysis of seed yield is important to aid in the breeding of high-yielding cultivars. Seed yield is a complex trait, and the number of quantitative trait loci (QTL) involved in seed yield is high. The aims of this study were to identify QTL associated with seed yield and validate their effects on seed yield using near-isogenic lines. The QTL analysis was conducted using a recombinant inbred line population derived from a cross between Japanese cultivars ‘Toyoharuka’ and ‘Toyomusume’, and eight seed yield-associated QTL were identified. There were significant positive correlations between seed yield and the number of favorable alleles at QTL associated with seed yield in the recombinant inbred lines for three years. The effects of qSY8-1, a QTL promoting greater seed yield, was validated in the Toyoharuka background. In a two-year yield trial, the 100-seed weight and seed yield of Toyoharuka-NIL, the near-isogenic line having the Toyomusume allele at qSY8-1, were significantly greater than those of Toyoharuka (106% and 107%, respectively) without any change for days to flowering and maturity. Our results suggest that qSY8-1 was not associated with maturity genes, and contributed to the 100-seed weight.
Advances in next generation sequencing (NGS)-based methodologies have accelerated the identifications of simple genetic variants such as point mutations and small insertions/deletions (InDels). Structural variants (SVs) including large InDels and rearrangements provide vital sources of genetic diversity for plant breeding. However, their analysis remains a challenge due to their complex nature. Consequently, novel NGS-based approaches are needed to rapidly and accurately identify SVs. Here, we present an NGS-based bulked-segregant analysis (BSA) technique called Sat-BSA (SVs associated with traits) for identifying SVs controlling traits of interest in crops. Sat-BSA targets allele frequencies at all SNP positions to first identify candidate genomic regions associated with a trait, which is then reconstructed by long reads-based local de novo assembly. Finally, the association between SVs, RNA-seq-based gene expression patterns and trait is evaluated for multiple cultivars to narrow down the candidate genes. We applied Sat-BSA to segregating F2 progeny obtained from crosses between turnip cultivars with different tuber colors and successfully isolated two genes harboring SVs that are responsible for tuber phenotypes. The current study demonstrates the utility of Sat-BSA for the identification of SVs associated with traits of interest in species with large and heterozygous genomes.
sd1-d originating from ‘Dee-geo-woo-gen’ has been utilized to develop short-culmed indica varieties adaptable to higher fertilizer-application. Its tall alleles SD1-in and SD1-ja are harbored in indica and japonica subspecies, respectively. The sd1-d of indica IR36 was substituted with SD1-in or SD1-ja by recurrent backcrossing with IR36, and two tall isogenic lines (“5867-36” and “Koshi-36”) were developed. IR36, 5867-36 and Koshi-36 were grown in a paddy field in three years, and yield and related traits were measured, the effects of SD1-in and SD1-ja on yielding ability and related characteristics were examined on the genetic background of IR 36. SD1-in decreased panicle number per m2 but increased spikelet number per panicle, ripened-grain percentage and 1000-grain weight, compared with sd1-d, resulting in the increase of yield. The increase of 1000-grain weight by SD1-in, caused by the increases of length, width and thickness of grain, was due to the increases of the length and width of lemma. SD1-ja did not significantly affect yield, mainly because the decrease of panicle number per m2 was compensated by the enlarged 1000-grain weight owing to the increase of lemma length. Serious lodging was observed in long-culmed 5867-36, suggesting that sd1-d is indispensable for indica breeding programs.