The role of recently derived FT paralogs in sunflower domestication.
ABSTRACT: Gene duplication provides an important source of genetic raw material for phenotypic diversification, but few studies have detailed the mechanisms through which duplications produce evolutionary novelty within species. Here, we investigate how a set of recently duplicated homologs of the floral inducer FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) has contributed to sunflower domestication. We find that changes in expression of these duplicates are associated with differences in flowering behavior between wild and domesticated sunflower. In addition, we present genetic and functional evidence demonstrating that a frameshift mutation in one paralog, Helianthus annuus FT 1 (HaFT1), underlies a major QTL for flowering time and experienced a selective sweep during early domestication. Notably, this dominant-negative allele delays flowering through interference with action of another paralog, HaFT4. Together, these data reveal that changes affecting the expression, sequence, and gene interactions of HaFT paralogs have played key roles during sunflower domestication. Our findings also illustrate the important role that evolving interactions between new gene family members may play in fostering phenotypic change.
Project description:Determining the identity and distribution of molecular changes leading to the evolution of modern crop species provides major insights into the timing and nature of historical forces involved in rapid phenotypic evolution. In this study, we employed an integrated candidate gene strategy to identify loci involved in the evolution of flowering time during early domestication and modern improvement of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus). Sunflower homologs of many genes with known functions in flowering time were isolated and cataloged. Then, colocalization with previously mapped quantitative trait loci (QTLs), expression, or protein sequence differences between wild and domesticated sunflower, and molecular evolutionary signatures of selective sweeps were applied as step-wise criteria for narrowing down an original pool of 30 candidates. This process led to the discovery that five paralogs in the flowering locus T/terminal flower 1 gene family experienced selective sweeps during the evolution of cultivated sunflower and may be the causal loci underlying flowering time QTLs. Our findings suggest that gene duplication fosters evolutionary innovation and that natural variation in both coding and regulatory sequences of these paralogs responded to a complex history of artificial selection on flowering time during the evolution of cultivated sunflower.
Project description:Parallels exist between the domestication of new species and the improvement of various crops through selection on traits which favor the sowing, harvest and retention of yield potential and the directed efforts to improve their agronomics, disease resistance and quality characteristics. Common selection pressures may result in the parallel selection of orthologs underlying these traits and homologies between crop species can be exploited by plant breeders to improve germplasm. Perennial grains and oilseeds are a class of proposed crops for improving the diversity and sustainability of agricultural systems. Maximilian sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani Schrad.) is a perennial crop wild relative of sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and a candidate perennial oilseed species. Understanding parallels between cultivated H. annuus and H. maximiliani may provide new tools for the development of Maximilian sunflower and other wild relatives of sunflower as crops to enhance functional diversity in cropping systems. F2 populations of Maximilian sunflower segregating for traits associated with the domestication ideotype of cultivated sunflower including branching architecture, capitulum morphology and flowering time were developed to investigate parallels between H. maximiliani and H. annuus. Genotype-by-sequencing (GBS) was employed to genotype novel Maximilian sunflower populations and perform quantitative-trait-loci (QTL) analysis. A total of 11 QTL in five regions were identified across 21 linkage groups using 4142 GBS derived single nucleotide polymorphism markers called using the sunflower reference genome as a guide. A major QTL on linkage group 17b, associated with aspects of floral development and apical dominance, was discovered and corresponds with a known domestication QTL hotspot in H. annuus and candidate genes were identified. This suggests the potential to exploit orthologs for neo-domestication of H. maximiliani for traits such as branching architecture, timing of anthesis, and capitulum size and morphology for the development of a perennial oilseed crop from wild relatives of cultivated sunflower.
Project description:Rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) is grown in different geographical regions of the world. It is adapted to different environments by modification of flowering time and requirement for cold. A broad variation exists from very early-flowering spring-type to late-flowering winter cultivars which only flower after exposure to an extended cold period. B. napus is an allopolyploid species which resulted from the hybridization between B. rapa and B. oleracea. In Arabidopsis thaliana, the PEBP-domain genes FLOWERING LOCUS-T (FT) and TERMINAL FLOWER-1 (TFL1) are important integrators of different flowering pathways. Six FT and four TFL1 paralogs have been identified in B. napus. However, their role in flowering time control is unknown. We identified EMS mutants of the B. napus winter-type inbreed line Express 617. In total, 103 mutant alleles have been determined for BnC6FTb, BnC6FTa, and BnTFL1-2 paralogs. We chose three non-sense and 15 missense mutant lines (M3) which were grown in the greenhouse. Although only two out of 6 FT paralogs were mutated, 6 out of 8 BnC6FTb mutant lines flowered later as the control, whereas all five BnC6FTa mutant lines started flowering as the non-mutated parent. Mutations within the BnTFL1-2 paralog had no large effects on flowering time but on yield components. F1 hybrids between BnTFL1-2 mutants and non-mutated parents had increased seed number per pod and total seeds per plant suggesting that heterozygous mutations in a TFL1 paralog may impact heterosis in rapeseed. We demonstrate that single point-mutations in BnFT and BnTFL1 paralogs have effects on flowering time despite the redundancy of the rapeseed genome. Moreover, our results suggest pleiotropic effects of BnTFL1 paralogs beyond the regulation of flowering time.
Project description:Species living in seasonal environments often adaptively time their reproduction in response to photoperiod cues. We characterized the expression of genes in the flowering-time regulatory network across wild populations of the common sunflower, Helianthus annuus, that we found to be adaptively differentiated for photoperiod response. The observed clinal variation was associated with changes at multiple hierarchical levels in multiple pathways. Paralogue-specific changes in FT homologue expression and tissue-specific changes in SOC1 homologue expression were associated with loss and reversal of plasticity, respectively, suggesting that redundancy and modularity are gene network characteristics easily exploited by natural selection to produce evolutionary innovation. Distinct genetic mechanisms contribute to convergent evolution of photoperiod responses within sunflower, suggesting regulatory network architecture does not impose strong constraints on the evolution of phenotypic plasticity.
Project description:Patterns of genetic variation in crops are the result of selection and demographic changes that occurred during their domestication and improvement. In many cases, we have an incomplete picture of the origin of crops in the context of their wild progenitors, particularly with regard to the processes producing observed levels of standing genetic variation. Here, we analyzed sequence diversity in cultivated sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.) and its wild progenitor (common sunflower, also H. annuus) to reconstruct phylogeographic relationships and population genetic/demographic patterns across sunflower. In common sunflower, south-north patterns in the distribution of nucleotide diversity and lineage splitting indicate a history of rapid postglacial range expansion from southern refugia. Cultivated sunflower accessions formed a clade, nested among wild populations from the Great Plains, confirming a single domestication event in central North America. Furthermore, cultivated accessions sorted by market type (i.e., oilseed vs. confectionery) rather than breeding pool, recapitulating the secondary development of oil-rich cultivars during its breeding history. Across sunflower, estimates of nucleotide diversity and effective population sizes suggest that cultivated sunflower underwent significant population bottlenecks following its establishment ~5000 years ago. The patterns inferred here corroborate those from previous studies of sunflower domestication, and provide a comprehensive overview of its evolutionary history.
Project description:The increased reproductive potential, size, shoot allocation, and growth rate of weedy plants may result from reduced resource allocation to other aspects of plant growth and defense. To investigate whether changes in resource allocation occurred during domestication or the evolution of weediness, we compared the mycorrhizal responsiveness, growth, and drought tolerance of nine native ruderal, nine agriculturally weedy (four U.S. weedy and five Australian weedy), and 14 domesticated populations (eight ancient landraces and six improved cultivars) of the common sunflower (Helianthus annuus). Domesticated sunflower cultivars were less drought tolerant, but had higher plant growth and fecundity and coarser roots than wild populations. There were no changes in level of drought tolerance between improved cultivars and ancient landrace plants, but there was an increase in allocation to flowers with recent selection. Weedy populations were intermediate between domesticated cultivars and native ruderal populations for plant growth rate, root architecture, and drought tolerance. Weedy populations benefited most from mycorrhizal inoculation by having fewer wilted leaves and wetter soil. Overall, we found that trade-offs between drought tolerance and several aspects of plant growth, including growth rate, allocation to flowering, and root architecture, govern evolution during sunflower domestication and the invasion of disturbed habitat.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Flowering time and maturity are among the most important adaptive traits in soybean (Glycine max (L.) Merill). Flowering Locus T (FT) family genes function as key flowering integrators, with flowering-promoting members GmFT2a/GmFT5a and flowering-inhibiting members GmFT4/GmFT1a antagonistically regulating vegetative and reproductive growth. However, to date, the relations between natural variations of FT family genes and the diversity of flowering time and maturity in soybean are not clear. Therefore, we conducted this study to discover natural variations in FT family genes in association with flowering time and maturity.<h4>Results</h4>Ten FT family genes, GmFT1a, GmFT1b, GmFT2a, GmFT2b, GmFT3a, GmFT3b, GmFT4, GmFT5a, GmFT5b and GmFT6, were cloned and sequenced in the 127 varieties evenly covering all 14 known maturity groups (MG0000-MGX). They were diversified at the genome sequence polymorphism level. GmFT3b and GmFT5b might have experienced breeding selection in the process of soybean domestication and breeding. Haplotype analysis showed that a total of 17 haplotypes had correlative relationships with flowering time and maturity among the 10 FT genes, namely, 1a-H3, 1b-H1, 1b-H6, 1b-H7, 2a-H1, 2a-H3, 2a-H4, 2a-H9, 2b-H3, 2b-H4, 2b-H6, 2b-H7, 3b-H4, 5a-H1, 5a-H2, 5a-H4 and 5b-H1. Based on the association analysis, 38 polymorphic sites had a significant association with flowering time at the level of p < 0.01.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Some natural variations exist within the 10 FT family genes, which might be involved in soybean adaptation to different environments and have an influence on diverse flowering time and maturity. This study will facilitate the understanding of the roles of FTs in flowering and maturity.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Safflower (Carthamus tinctorius L.) is an oilseed crop in the Compositae (a.k.a. Asteraceae) that is valued for its oils rich in unsaturated fatty acids. Here, we present an analysis of the genetic architecture of safflower domestication and compare our findings to those from sunflower (Helianthus annuus L.), an independently domesticated oilseed crop within the same family.We mapped quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying 24 domestication-related traits in progeny from a cross between safflower and its wild progenitor, Carthamus palaestinus Eig. Also, we compared QTL positions in safflower against those that have been previously identified in cultivated x wild sunflower crosses to identify instances of colocalization. RESULTS:We mapped 61 QTL, the vast majority of which (59) exhibited minor or moderate phenotypic effects. The two large-effect QTL corresponded to one each for flower color and leaf spininess. A total of 14 safflower QTL colocalized with previously reported sunflower QTL for the same traits. Of these, QTL for three traits (days to flower, achene length, and number of selfed seed) had cultivar alleles that conferred effects in the same direction in both species. CONCLUSIONS:As has been observed in sunflower, and unlike many other crops, our results suggest that the genetics of safflower domestication is quite complex. Moreover, our comparative mapping results indicate that safflower and sunflower exhibit numerous instances of QTL colocalization, suggesting that parallel trait transitions during domestication may have been driven, at least in part, by parallel genotypic evolution at some of the same underlying genes.
Project description:Flowering is a rigorously timed and morphologically complex shift in plant development. This change depends on endogenous as well as environmental factors. FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) integrates several cues from different pathways acting as a flowering promoter. Contrary to the role of FT, its paralog TERMINAL FLOWER 1 (TFL1) delays floral transition. Although FT/TFL1 homologs have been studied in model eudicots and monocots, scarce studies are available in non-model monocots like the Orchidaceae. Orchids are very diverse and their floral complexity is translated into a unique aesthetic display, which appeals the ornamental plant market. Nonetheless, orchid trade faces huge limitations due to their long vegetative phase and intractable indoor flowering seasons. Little is known about the genetic basis that control reproductive transition in orchids and, consequently, manipulating their flowering time remains a challenge. In order to contribute to the understanding of the genetic bases that control flowering in orchids we present here the first broad-scale analysis of FT/TFL1-like genes in monocots with an expanded sampling in Orchidaceae. We also compare expression patterns in three selected species and propose hypotheses on the putative role of these genes in their reproductive transition. Our findings show that FT-like genes are by far more diversified than TFL1-like genes in monocots with six subclades in the former and only one in the latter. Within MonFT1, the comparative protein sequences of MonFT1A and MonFT1B suggest that they could have recruited functional roles in delaying flowering, a role typically assigned to TFL1-like proteins. On the other hand, MonFT2 proteins have retained their canonical motifs and roles in promoting flowering transition. This is also shown by their increased expression levels from the shoot apical meristem (SAM) and leaves to inflorescence meristems (IM) and floral buds (FBs). Finally, TFL1-like genes are retained as single copy and often times are lost. Their loss could be linked to the parallel recruitment of MonFT1A and MonFT1B homologs in delaying flowering and maintaining indeterminacy of the inflorescence meristem. These hypotheses lay the foundation for future functional validation in emerging model orchid species and comparative analyses in orchids with high horticultural potential in the market.
Project description:Noug (Guizotia abyssinica) is a semidomesticated oil-seed crop, which is primarily cultivated in Ethiopia. Unlike its closest crop relative, sunflower, noug has small seeds, small flowering heads, many branches, many flowering heads, and indeterminate flowering, and it shatters in the field. Here, we conducted common garden studies and microsatellite analyses of genetic variation to test whether high levels of crop-wild gene flow and/or unfavorable phenotypic correlations have hindered noug domestication. With the exception of one population, analyses of microsatellite variation failed to detect substantial recent admixture between noug and its wild progenitor. Likewise, only very weak correlations were found between seed mass and the number or size of flowering heads. Thus, noug's 'atypical' domestication syndrome does not seem to be a consequence of recent introgression or unfavorable phenotypic correlations. Nonetheless, our data do reveal evidence of local adaptation of noug cultivars to different precipitation regimes, as well as high levels of phenotypic plasticity, which may permit reasonable yields under diverse environmental conditions. Why noug has not been fully domesticated remains a mystery, but perhaps early farmers selected for resilience to episodic drought or untended environments rather than larger seeds. Domestication may also have been slowed by noug's outcrossing mating system.