Cultivated strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.), a commercially important fruit in the world, has various fruit shapes. For example, fruits harvested from multi-parent advanced-generation inter-cross (MAGIC) populations, mixed the genomes of six founder parents randomly, showed distinctive shapes: elongated, round, triangular, square, forked, constricted, and others as well as a shape similar to the parent. Quantification of fruit shapes by image analysis is the first step toward understanding the genetics of fruit-shape and controlling strawberry shape (This issue, p. 167–175).
(S. Nagamatsu: Fukuoka Agriculture and Forestry Research Center)
Genome sequence analysis in higher plants began with the whole-genome sequencing of Arabidopsis thaliana. Owing to the great advances in sequencing technologies, also known as next-generation sequencing (NGS) technologies, genomes of more than 400 plant species have been sequenced to date. Long-read sequencing technologies, together with sequence scaffolding methods, have enabled the synthesis of chromosome-level de novo genome sequence assemblies, which has further allowed comparative analysis of the structural features of multiple plant genomes, thus elucidating the evolutionary history of plants. However, the quality of the assembled chromosome-level sequences varies among plant species. In this review, we summarize the status of chromosome-level assemblies of 114 plant species, with genome sizes ranging from 125 Mb to 16.9 Gb. While the average genome coverage of the assembled sequences reached up to 89.1%, the average coverage of chromosome-level pseudomolecules was 73.3%. Thus, further improvements in sequencing technologies and scaffolding, and data analysis methods, are required to establish gap-free telomere-to-telomere genome sequence assemblies. With the forthcoming new technologies, we are going to enter into a new genomics era where pan-genomics and the >1,000 or >1 million genomes’ project will be routine in higher plants.
Understanding genetic diversity among local populations is a primary goal of modern crop breeding programs. Here, we demonstrated the genetic relationships of rice varieties in Hokkaido, Japan, one of the northern limits of rice cultivation around the world. Furthermore, artificial selection during rice breeding programs has been characterized using genome sequences. We utilized 8,565 single nucleotide polymorphisms and insertion/deletion markers distributed across the genome in genotype-by-sequencing for genetic diversity analyses. Phylogenetics, genetic population structure, and principal component analysis showed that a total of 110 varieties were classified into four distinct clusters according to different populations geographically and historically. Furthermore, the genome sequences of 19 rice varieties along with historic representations in Hokkaido, nucleotide diversity and FST values in each cluster revealed that artificial selection of elite phenotypes focused on chromosomal regions. These results clearly demonstrated the history of the selections on agronomic traits as genome sequences among current rice varieties from Hokkaido.
A total of 251 Dura cross Pisifera (DxP) hybrid palms from six populations descending from six parental African Pisifera origins and involving 12 progenies were analyzed with 19 selected Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR) markers. A total of 110 alleles were produced, ranging from three to eight per SSR, with a mean of 5.8 alleles per SSR locus. Of these, 68.5% were considered shared alleles by more than one population and the remaining 31.5% were population specific alleles. They generated between six and 21 haplotypes in all populations, and depending on the SSR marker, between one and 10 haplotypes within populations. Various parameters for analyzing genetic variability, differentiation and genetic structure were computed using GenAlEx, Structure and Darwin software. The obtained results confirmed microsatellites as a robust, feasible and trustful method for obtaining DNA fingerprints, tracing the source of oil palm samples. With respect to the authenticity of materials or for solving legitimacy issues, accession belonging to each population by SSR markers could be distinguished, but additional SSR should be screened for improving this process.
Bacterial blight caused by Xanthomonas oryzae pv. oryzae (Xoo) is an important disease constraining rice (Oryza sativa L.) production worldwide. The XM6 line was induced by N-methyl-N-nitrosourea from IR24, an Indica cultivar that is susceptible to Philippine and Japanese Xoo races. XM6 was confirmed to carry a recessive gene named xa20, resistant to six Philippine and five Japanese Xoo races. The chromosomal gene location was found using 10 plants with the shortest lesion length in an F2 population consisting of 298 plants from a susceptible Japonica variety Koshihikari × XM6. Analysis using PCR-based DNA markers covering the whole rice genome indicated the gene as located on the distal region of the long arm of chromosome 3. The IKC3 line carries IR24 genetic background with Koshihikari fragment on chromosome 3 where a resistance gene was thought to be located. The F2 population from IKC3 × XM6 clearly showed a bimodal distribution separating resistant and susceptible plants. Further linkage analysis conducted using this F2 population revealed that xa20 is located within the 0.8 cM region flanked by DNA markers KIC3-33.88 (33.0 Mb) and KIC3-34.06 (33.2 Mb). This study yields important findings for resistance breeding and for the genetic mechanism of Xoo resistance.
Seed dormancy, a major factor regulating pre-harvest sprouting, can severely hinder wheat cultivation. Reduced Seed Dormancy 32 (RSD32), a wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) mutant with reduced seed dormancy, is derived from the pre-harvest sprouting tolerant cultivar, ‘Norin61’. RSD32 is regulated by a single recessive gene and mutant phenotype expressed in a seed-specific manner. Gene expressions in embryos of ‘Norin61’ and RSD32 were compared using RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) analysis at different developmental stages of 20, 30, and 40 days after pollination (DAP). Numbers of up-regulated genes in RSD32 are equivalent in all developmental stages. However, down-regulated genes in RSD32 are more numerous on DAP20 and DAP30 than on DAP40. In central components affecting the circadian clock, homologues to the morning-expressed genes are expressed at lower levels in RSD32. However, higher expressions of homologues acting as evening-expressed genes are observed in RSD32. Homologues of Ca2+ signaling pathway related genes are specifically expressed on DAP20 in ‘Norin61’. Lower expression is shown in RSD32. These results suggest that RSD32 mutation expresses on DAP20 and earlier seed developmental stages and suggest that circadian clock regulation and Ca2+ signaling pathway are involved in the regulation of wheat seed dormancy.
Fruit shape of cultivated strawberry (Fragaria × ananassa Duch.) is an important breeding target. To detect genomic regions associated with this trait, its quantitative evaluation is needed. Previously we created a multi-parent advanced-generation inter-cross (MAGIC) strawberry population derived from six founder parents. In this study, we used this population to quantify fruit shape. Elliptic Fourier descriptors (EFDs) were generated from 2 969 two-dimensional binarized fruit images, and principal component (PC) scores were calculated on the basis of the EFD coefficients. PC1–PC3 explained 96% of variation in shape and thus adequately quantified it. In genome-wide association study, the PC scores were used as phenotypes. Genome wide association study using mixed linear models revealed 2 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for fruit shape. Our results provide a novel and effective method to analyze strawberry fruit morphology; the detected QTLs and presented method can support marker-assisted selection in practical breeding programs to improve fruit shape.
Lablab (Lablab purpureus (L.) Sweet) is a legume crop widely cultivated in tropical and subtropical regions of Africa and Asia. In this study, we assessed genetic diversity and population structure of 299 individuals of subspecies purpureus and bengalensis of lablab from Thailand using 13 simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers. The SSR markers detected only 34 alleles in total with a mean of 2.6 alleles per locus. Overall gene diversity was 0.360. Gene diversity (HE) and allelic richness (AR) in different geographic regions was comparable. Similarly, both HE and AR between subspecies purpureus and bengalensis were similar. STRUCTURE and neighbor-joining (NJ) analyses revealed that the 299 individuals were clustered into two major groups. In contrast, principal coordinate analysis (PCoA) revealed admixture of the lablab germplasm. STRUCTURE, NJ and PCoA analyses also revealed that the subspecies purpureus and bengalensis are not genetically differentiated. Although the number of individuals from the west of Thailand was small and all of them were collected from the same province, they possessed comparable gene diversity with those from the other geographic regions. These results demonstrated that there is moderately low genetic diversity of lablab in Thailand and the west of the country possesses high diversity of lablab.
Heat stress during grain filling has been documented to decrease wheat grain yield and quality in arid regions worldwide. We studied the effect of heat stress on wheat flour quality in heat tolerant cultivars to define the effects of heat stress on flour quality and to identify germplasm combining traits for heat tolerance and good flour quality. We studied the kernel phenotypic traits, the expression of seed storage proteins (SSPs), and the resulting flour quality under heat and normal conditions. Under heat stress, all cultivars yielded narrow-shaped seeds, and increased protein contents as compared to the control plants grown under normal conditions. The specific sedimentation values used to estimate the gluten quality varied between cultivars. We identified cultivars that could maintain good flour quality under heat stress conditions: ‘Imam’, which possessed the Glu-D1d allele responsible for the suitable bread-making; ‘Bohaine’, which displayed high expression level of SSPs; and ‘Condor’, which possessed slight variations in the ratio of each SSP under heat stress conditions. Combining the desirable traits from these cultivars could yield a wheat cultivar with heat tolerance and good flour quality.
The plant eukaryotic translation-initiation factors eIF4E and eIF(iso)4E play key roles in infection by plant RNA viruses, especially potyviruses. Mutations in the genes that encode these factors reduce susceptibility to the viruses. In the amphidiploid plant tobacco (Nicotiana tabacum L.), eIF4E1-S deletion mutants resist Potato virus Y (PVY), but resistance-breaking strains (RB-PVY) have appeared. In an earlier study, we demonstrated that the loss-of-function of eIF(iso)4E-T reduces susceptibility to RB-PVY. Here, we show that simultaneous inhibition of eIF4E1-S and eIF(iso)4E-T synergistically confers enhanced resistance to both PVY and RB-PVY without host growth or development defects. PVY symptoms and accumulation in a tobacco line lacking eIF4E1-S were detected at 14 days post-inoculation (dpi) and RB-PVY symptoms in lines without functional eIF(iso)4E-T were observed at 24 dpi. RB-PVY emerged in a PVY-infected tobacco line lacking eIF4E1-S. In contrast, lines without functional eIF4E1-S and eIF(iso)4E-T were nearly immune to PVY and RB-PVY, and little accumulation of either virus was detected even at 56 dpi. Thus, the lines will be promising for PVY-resistance breeding. This study provides a novel strategy to develop tobacco highly resistant to PVY and RB-PVY, and insights into the mechanisms responsible for high-level resistance.
In carrot (Daucus carota L.), the taproot colors orange, yellow and white are determined mostly by the Y, Y2, and Or loci. One of the most severe issues in carrot seed production is contamination by wild white carrot. To evaluate the contamination ratio, easily detectable DNA markers for white carrot are desired. To develop PCR-based DNA markers for the Y2 locus, we have re-sequenced two orange-colored carrot cultivars at our company (Fujii Seed, Japan), as well as six white- and one light-orange-colored carrots that contaminated our seed products. Within the candidate region previously reported for the Y2 locus, only one DNA marker, Y2_7, clearly distinguished white carrots from orange ones in the re-sequenced samples. The Y2_7 marker was further examined in 12 of the most popular hybrid orange cultivars in Japan, as well as ‘Nantes’ and ‘Chantenay Red Cored 2’. The Y2_7 marker showed that all of the orange cultivars examined had the orange allele except for ‘Beta-441’. False white was detected in the orange-colored ‘Beta-441’. The Y2_7 marker detected white root carrot contamination in an old open-pollinated Japanese cultivar, ‘Nakamura Senkou Futo’. This marker would be a useful tool in a carrot seed quality control for some cultivars.
Epicotyl length (ECL) of adzuki bean (Vigna angularis) affects the efficiency of mechanized weeding and harvest. The present study investigated the genetic factors controlling ECL. An F2 population derived from a cross between the breeding line ‘Tokei1121’ (T1121, long epicotyls) and the cultivar ‘Erimo167’ (common epicotyls) was phenotyped for ECL and genotyped using simple sequence repeats (SSRs) and single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. A molecular linkage map was generated and fifty-two segregating markers, including 27 SSRs and 25 SNPs, were located on seven linkage groups (LGs) at a LOD threshold value of 3.0. Four quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for ECL, with LOD scores of 4.0, 3.4, 4.8 and 6.4, were identified on LGs 2, 4, 7 and 10, respectively; together, these four QTLs accounted for 49.3% of the phenotypic variance. The segregation patterns observed in F5 residual heterozygous lines at qECL10 revealed that a single recessive gene derived from T1121 contributed to the longer ECL phenotype. Using five insertion and deletion markers, this gene was fine mapped to a ~255 kb region near the end of LG10. These findings will facilitate marker-assisted selection for breeding in the adzuki bean and contribute to an understanding of the mechanisms associated with epicotyl elongation.
Maize is the most important staple crop worldwide. Many of its agronomic traits present with a high level of heterosis. Combining ability was proposed to exploit the rule of heterosis, and general combining ability (GCA) is a crucial measure of parental performance. In this study, a recombinant inbred line population was used to construct testcross populations by crossing with four testers based on North Carolina design II. Six yield-relevant traits were investigated as phenotypic data. GCA effects were estimated for three scenarios based on the heterotic group and the number of tester lines. These estimates were then used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) and dissect genetic basis of GCA. A higher heritability of GCA was obtained for each trait. Thus, testing in early generation of breeding may effectively select candidate lines with relatively superior GCA performance. The GCA QTL detected in each scenario was slightly different according to the linkage mapping. Most of the GCA-relevant loci were simultaneously detected in all three datasets. Therefore, the genetic basis of GCA was nearly constant although discrepant inbred lines were appointed as testers. In addition, favorable alleles corresponding to GCA could be pyramided via marker-assisted selection and made available for maize hybrid breeding.
Ascochyta blight (AB) and botrytis grey mould (BGM) are the most devastating fungal diseases of chickpea worldwide. The wild relative of chickpea, C. reticulatum acc. ILWC 292 was found resistant to BGM whereas, GPF2 (Cicer arietinum L.) is resistant to AB. A total of 187 F8 Recombinant Inbred Lines (RILs) developed from an inter-specific cross of GPF2 × C. reticulatum acc. ILWC 292 were used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) responsible for resistance to AB and BGM. RILs along with parents were evaluated under artificial epiphytotic field/laboratory conditions for two years. Highly significant differences (P < 0.001) were observed for reaction to both pathogens in both years. Parents and RILs were genotyped-by-sequencing to identify genome wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs). A total of 1365 filtered and parental polymorphic SNPs were used for linkage map construction, of which, 673 SNPs were arranged on eight linkage groups. Composite interval mapping revealed three QTLs for AB and four QTLs for BGM resistance. Out of which, two QTLs for AB and three QTLs for BGM were consistent in both years. These QTLs can be targeted for further fine mapping for deployment of resistance to AB and BGM in elite chickpea cultivars using marker-assisted-selection.
Black spot disease, which is caused by Alternaria alternata (Fries) Keissler Japanese pear pathotype, is one of the most harmful diseases in Japanese pear cultivation. Because of the potential harm of fungicides to consumers and the environment, resistant cultivars are desired. In this study, to enable efficient marker-assisted selection in pear breeding, we conducted comprehensive inoculation tests and genotyping with 207 pear cultivars. We identified a marker set (Mdo.chr11.27 and Mdo.chr11.34) suitable for selection for black spot resistance. In most susceptible cultivars, Mdo.chr11.27 amplified a 220-bp band and Mdo.chr11.34 amplified a 259-bp band. The genotype of Mdo.chr11.34 corresponds perfectly to the estimated genotype of Japanese pears susceptible to black spot disease. Using linkage analysis, we identified the positions of the gene for susceptibility to black spot disease in Chinese pear. Mdo.chr11.27 and Mdo.chr11.34 were tightly linked to susceptibility in Chinese pear, and the susceptibility gene was mapped at the top of linkage group 11, similar to that in Japanese pear. This marker set and the accumulation of phenotypic data will enable efficient marker-assisted breeding for black spot resistance in pear breeding.
Oil palm is continually being improved via controlled crossing of selected palms to ensure sustainable yields and productivity. As such, correct parental assignment is important as the presence of illegitimates will compromise the progress of improvement. In the present study, we determined the optimal number of microsatellite (SSR) markers for detection of illegitimates in selected oil palm crosses with high confidence. Determining the optimal number of markers to assign parentage will ensure that the DNA fingerprinting will be cost effective for routine use as a quality control tool in oil palm improvement programs. Here, we evaluated a wide range of crosses that included a cross derived from wild germplasm palm. The results revealed that markers with high PIC are informative and detect most of the alleles present in a cross, including those exhibited by the illegitimates. A larger number of optimum sets of markers are needed to detect all illegitimates for crosses with higher levels of genetic diversity. The optimal number of polymorphic SSR markers determined in the present study can ensure that appropriate quality control is implemented for oil palm improvement programs.
White rust caused by Puccinia horiana Henn. adversely affects chrysanthemum (Chrysanthemum morifolium Ramat.) production. The breeding of resistant varieties is effective in controlling the disease. Here we aimed to develop DNA markers for the strong resistance to P. horiana. We conducted a linkage analysis based on the genome-wide association study (GWAS) method. We employed a biparental population for the GWAS, wherein the single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) allele frequency could be predicted. The population was derived from crosses between a strong resistant “Southern Pegasus” and a susceptible line. The GWAS used simplex and double-simplex SNP markers selected out of SNP candidates mined from ddRAD-Seq data of an F1 biparental population. These F1 individuals segregated in a 1:1 ratio of resistant to susceptible. Twenty-one simplex SNPs were significantly associated with P. horiana resistance in “Southern Pegasus” and generated one linkage group. These results show the presence of a single resistance gene in “Southern Pegasus”. We identified the nearest SNP marker located 2.2 cM from P. horiana resistance locus and demonstrated this SNP marker-resistance link using an independent population. This is the first report of an effective DNA marker linked to a gene for P. horiana resistance in chrysanthemum.
Hybrid breakdown (HB) is an important type of post-zygotic reproductive barrier that inhibits hybrid production during the process of cross-breeding. A novel low temperature-dependent HB was identified in a chromosomal segment substitution line (CSSL) library derived from a cross of two rice (Oryza sativa L. japonica) cultivars, Yukihikari and Kirara397. A set of weakness symptoms in a target CSSL was observed at 23°C, but was rescued at 27°C and/or 30°C. Genetic analysis of HB using an F2:3 population of a cross between a target CSSL and Kirara397 found that a recessive temperature sensitive hybrid breakdown1 (thb1) gene from Yukihikari caused HB in the genetic background of Kirara397. Molecular mapping showed that thb1 was located within a 199-kb fragment on chromosome 6. A genetic study of F2 populations of reciprocal crosses between Yukihikari and Kirara397 confirmed that this HB was induced by the interaction of two recessive genes. These results provide important clues to further dissect the mechanism of generation of a novel temperature sensitive HB in rice intrasubspecific crosses and suggest that these linked markers will useful in rice breeding.
Various types of malt quality profiles have been investigated to benefit the North American brewing industry. Herein, we report the development and brewing quality of the hulled, two-row malting barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) variety ‘CDC Goldstar’ lacking lipoxygenase-1 (LOX-1-less). This new variety offers a novel malt type for the improvement of beer flavor stability. The agronomic performance of ‘CDC Goldstar’ was tested in the Western Cooperative Two Row Barley Registration Trials during 2013–2014. In addition to high lodging tolerance, the new variety showed 6% higher yield than the current leading variety ‘CDC Copeland’. The malt quality of ‘CDC Goldstar’ showed higher diastatic power and lower wort β-glucan content than ‘CDC Copeland’ and controllable proteolytic modification (soluble nitrogen and Kolbach Index). Pilot- (100 L) and commercial-scale (5,000 L) brewing trials were conducted using ‘CDC PlatinumStar’, another LOX-1-less variety with a low enzymatic profile, as the control variety. Absence of the LOX-1 trait from ‘CDC Goldstar’ maintained trans-2-nonenal levels in aged beers as low as those in other LOX-1-less varieties without affecting major beer parameters, such as ester and aldehyde content or foam stability. The newly developed ‘CDC Goldstar’ malting barley provides added value for the beer industry and consumers.
Grain yield-related traits and grain quality-related traits are important for rice cultivars. The quantitative trait loci (QTLs) involved in controlling the natural variation in these traits among closely related cultivars are still unclear. The present study describes the development of a novel chromosome segment substitution line (CSSL) population derived from a cross between the temperate japonica cultivars Yukihikari and Kirara397, which are grown in Hokkaido, the northernmost limit for rice cultivation. Days to heading, culm length, panicle length, panicle number, brown grain weight per plant, thousand brown grain weight, brown grain length, brown grain width, brown grain thickness, apparent amylose content, and protein content were evaluated. Panicle length, brown grain length and amylose content differed significantly in the parental cultivars. Thirty-five significant changes in the evaluated traits were identified in the CSSLs. A total of 28 QTLs were located on chromosomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12. These findings could be useful for breeding rice cultivars in the northernmost limit for rice cultivation.