Genic SNP markers and legume synteny reveal candidate genes underlying QTL for Macrophomina phaseolina resistance and maturity in cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp.].
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND: Macrophomina phaseolina is an emerging and devastating fungal pathogen that causes significant losses in crop production under high temperatures and drought stress. An increasing number of disease incidence reports highlight the wide prevalence of the pathogen around the world and its contribution toward crop yield suppression. In cowpea [Vigna unguiculata (L) Walp.], limited sources of low-level host resistance have been identified, the genetic basis of which is unknown. In this study we report on the identification of strong sources of host resistance to M. phaseolina and the genetic mapping of putative resistance loci on a cowpea genetic map comprised of gene-derived single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and amplified fragment length polymorphisms (AFLPs). RESULTS: Nine quantitative trait loci (QTLs), accounting for between 6.1 and 40.0% of the phenotypic variance (R2), were identified using plant mortality data taken over three years in field experiments and disease severity scores taken from two greenhouse experiments. Based on annotated genic SNPs as well as synteny with soybean (Glycine max) and Medicago truncatula, candidate resistance genes were found within mapped QTL intervals. QTL Mac-2 explained the largest percent R2 and was identified in three field and one greenhouse experiments where the QTL peak co-located with a SNP marker derived from a pectin esterase inhibitor encoding gene. Maturity effects on the expression of resistance were indicated by the co-location of Mac-6 and Mac-7 QTLs with maturity-related senescence QTLs Mat-2 and Mat-1, respectively. Homologs of the ELF4 and FLK flowering genes were found in corresponding syntenic soybean regions. Only three Macrophomina resistance QTLs co-located with delayed drought-induced premature senescence QTLs previously mapped in the same population, suggesting that largely different genetic mechanisms mediate cowpea response to drought stress and Macrophomina infection. CONCLUSION: Effective sources of host resistance were identified in this study. QTL mapping and synteny analysis identified genomic loci harboring resistance factors and revealed candidate genes with potential for further functional genomics analysis.
Project description:Cowpea is one of the most important grain legumes in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). It provides strong support to the livelihood of small-scale farmers through its contributions to their nutritional security, income generation and soil fertility enhancement. Worldwide about 6.5 million metric tons of cowpea are produced annually on about 14.5 million hectares. The low productivity of cowpea is attributable to numerous abiotic and biotic constraints. The abiotic stress factors comprise drought, low soil fertility, and heat while biotic constraints include insects, diseases, parasitic weeds, and nematodes. Cowpea farmers also have limited access to quality seeds of improved varieties for planting. Some progress has been made through conventional breeding at international and national research institutions in the last three decades. Cowpea improvement could also benefit from modern breeding methods based on molecular genetic tools. A number of advances in cowpea genetic linkage maps, and quantitative trait loci associated with some desirable traits such as resistance to Striga, Macrophomina, Fusarium wilt, bacterial blight, root-knot nematodes, aphids, and foliar thrips have been reported. An improved consensus genetic linkage map has been developed and used to identify QTLs of additional traits. In order to take advantage of these developments single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) genotyping is being streamlined to establish an efficient workflow supported by genotyping support service (GSS)-client interactions. About 1100 SNPs mapped on the cowpea genome were converted by LGC Genomics to KASP assays. Several cowpea breeding programs have been exploiting these resources to implement molecular breeding, especially for MARS and MABC, to accelerate cowpea variety improvement. The combination of conventional breeding and molecular breeding strategies, with workflow managed through the CGIAR breeding management system (BMS), promises an increase in the number of improved varieties available to farmers, thereby boosting cowpea production and productivity in SSA.
Project description:Quantitative trait loci (QTL) studies provide insight into the complexity of drought tolerance mechanisms. Molecular markers used in these studies also allow for marker-assisted selection (MAS) in breeding programs, enabling transfer of genetic factors between breeding lines without complete knowledge of their exact nature. However, potential for recombination between markers and target genes limit the utility of MAS-based strategies. Candidate gene mapping offers an alternative solution to identify trait determinants underlying QTL of interest. Here, we used restriction site polymorphisms to investigate co-location of candidate genes with QTL for seedling drought stress-induced premature senescence identified previously in cowpea. Genomic DNA isolated from 113 F(2:8) RILs of drought-tolerant IT93K503-1 and drought susceptible CB46 genotypes was digested with combinations of EcoR1 and HpaII, Mse1, or Msp1 restriction enzymes and amplified with primers designed from 13 drought-responsive cDNAs. JoinMap 3.0 and MapQTL 4.0 software were used to incorporate polymorphic markers onto the AFLP map and to analyze their association with the drought response QTL. Seven markers co-located with peaks of previously identified QTL. Isolation, sequencing, and blast analysis of these markers confirmed their significant homology with drought or other abiotic stress-induced expressed sequence tags (EST) from cowpea and other plant systems. Further, homology with coding sequences for a multidrug resistance protein 3 and a photosystem I assembly protein ycf3 was revealed in two of these candidates. These results provide a platform for the identification and characterization of genetic trait determinants underlying seedling drought tolerance in cowpea.
Project description:The stay-green phenomenon is a key plant trait with wide usage in managing crop production under limited water conditions. This trait enhances delayed senescence, biomass, and grain yield under drought stress. In this study we sought to identify QTLs in cowpea (Vigna unguiculata) consistent across experiments conducted in Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Senegal, and the United States of America under limited water conditions. A panel of 383 diverse cowpea accessions and a recombinant inbred line population (RIL) were SNP genotyped using an Illumina 1536 GoldenGate assay. Phenotypic data from thirteen experiments conducted across the four countries were used to identify SNP-trait associations based on linkage disequilibrium association mapping, with bi-parental QTL mapping as a complementary strategy. We identified seven loci, five of which exhibited evidence suggesting pleiotropic effects (stay-green) between delayed senescence, biomass, and grain yield. Further, we provide evidence suggesting the existence of positive pleiotropy in cowpea based on positively correlated mean phenotypic values (0.34< r <0.87) and allele effects (0.07< r <0.86) for delayed senescence and grain yield across three African environments. Three of the five putative stay-green QTLs, Dro-1, 3, and 7 were identified in both RILs and diverse germplasm with resolutions of 3.2 cM or less for each of the three loci, suggesting that these may be valuable targets for marker-assisted breeding in cowpea. Also, the co-location of early vegetative delayed senescence with biomass and grain yield QTLs suggests the possibility of using delayed senescence at the seedling stage as a rapid screening tool for post-flowering drought tolerance in cowpea breeding. BLAST analysis using EST sequences harboring SNPs with the highest associations provided a genomic context for loci identified in this study in closely related common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) and soybean (Glycine max) reference genomes.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Asparagus bean (Vigna. unguiculata. ssp sesquipedalis) is a subspecies and special vegetable type of cowpea (Vigna. unguiculata L. Walp.) important in Asia. Genetic basis of horticulturally important traits of asparagus bean is still poorly understood, hindering the utilization of targeted, DNA marker-assisted breeding in this crop. Here we report the identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and epistatic interactions for four horticultural traits, namely, days to first flowering (FLD), nodes to first flower (NFF), leaf senescence (LS) and pod number per plant (PN) using a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population of asparagus bean. RESULTS: A similar genetic mode of one major QTL plus a few minor QTLs was found to dominate each of the four traits, with the number of QTLs for individual traits ranging from three to four. These QTLs were distributed on 7 of the 11 chromosomes. Major QTLs for FLD, NFF and LS were co-localized on LG 11, indicative of tight linkage. Genome wide epistasis analysis detected two and one interactive locus pairs that significantly affect FLD and LS, respectively, and the epistatic QTLs for FLD appeared to work in different ways. Synteny based comparison of QTL locations revealed conservation of chromosome regions controlling these traits in related legume crops. CONCLUSION: Major, minor, and epistatic QTLs were found to contribute to the inheritance of the FLD, NFF, LS, and PN. Positions of many of these QTLs are conserved among closely related legume species, indicating common mechanisms they share. To our best knowledge, this is the first QTL mapping report using an asparagus bean × asparagus bean intervarietal population and provides marker-trait associations for marker-assisted approaches to selection.
Project description:Improving drought resistance in crops is imperative under the prevailing erratic rainfall patterns. Drought affects the growth and yield of most modern rice varieties. Recent breeding efforts aim to incorporate drought resistance traits in rice varieties that can be suitable under alternative irrigation schemes, such as in a (semi)aerobic system, as row (furrow-irrigated) rice. The identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) controlling grain yield, the most important trait with high selection efficiency, can lead to the identification of markers to facilitate marker-assisted breeding of drought-resistant rice. Here, we report grain yield QTLs under greenhouse drought using an F2:3 population derived from Cocodrie (drought sensitive) × Nagina 22 (N22) (drought tolerant). Eight QTLs were identified for yield traits under drought. Grain yield QTL under drought on chromosome 1 (phenotypic variance explained (PVE) = 11.15%) co-localized with the only QTL for panicle number (PVE = 37.7%). The drought-tolerant parent N22 contributed the favorable alleles for all QTLs except qGN3.2 and qGN5.1 for grain number per panicle. Stress-responsive transcription factors, such as ethylene response factor, WD40 domain protein, zinc finger protein, and genes involved in lipid/sugar metabolism were linked to the QTLs, suggesting their possible role in drought tolerance mechanism of N22 in the background of Cocodrie, contributing to higher yield under drought.
Project description:Water stress, in a climate change scenario is one of the major threats for sustainable rice productivity. Combining drought resistance with yield and desirable economic traits is the most promising solution for the researchers. Although several studies resulted in the identification of QTLs for drought resistance in rice, but none of them serve as a milestone. Therefore, there is always a quest to find the new QTLs. The present investigation was carried out to map QTLs involved in drought resistance and yield related parameter in a cross of IR55419-04 and Super Basmati. An F<sub>2</sub> population of 418 individuals was used as the mapping population. The raised nursery was transplanted in lyzimeters. Two extreme sets of tolerant (23 Nos.) and sensitive (23 Nos.) individuals were selected based on total water uptake under water stress conditions. Two hundred thirty microsatellite markers staggered on the whole genome were used for identifying polymorphic markers between the two parents. The selected 73 polymorphic microsatellites were used to genotype individuals and were scattered on a distance of 1735 cM on all 12 linkage groups. QTL analysis was performed by using the WinQTL Cartographer 2.5 V. A total of 21 QTLs were detected using composite interval mapping. The QTLs relating to drought tolerance at the vegetative stage were found on chromosome 1. Novel genomic regions were detected in the marker interval RM520-RM143 and RM168-RM520. The region has a significant QTL <i>qTWU3.1</i> for total water uptake. Root morphological trait QTLs were found on chromosome 3. QTLs responsible for additive effects were due to the alleles of the IR55419-04. These novel QTLs can be used for marker assisted breeding to develop new drought-tolerant rice varieties and fine mapping can be used to explore the functional relationship between the QTLs and phenotypic traits.
Project description:The cowpea aphid Aphis craccivora Koch (CPA) is a destructive insect pest of cowpea, a staple legume crop in Sub-Saharan Africa and other semiarid warm tropics and subtropics. In California, CPA causes damage on all local cultivars from early vegetative to pod development growth stages. Sources of CPA resistance are available in African cowpea germplasm. However, their utilization in breeding is limited by the lack of information on inheritance, genomic location and marker linkage associations of the resistance determinants. In the research reported here, a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from a cross between a susceptible California blackeye cultivar (CB27) and a resistant African breeding line (IT97K-556-6) was genotyped with 1,536 SNP markers. The RILs and parents were phenotyped for CPA resistance using field-based screenings during two main crop seasons in a 'hotspot' location for this pest within the primary growing region of the Central Valley of California. One minor and one major quantitative trait locus (QTL) were consistently mapped on linkage groups 1 and 7, respectively, both with favorable alleles contributed from IT97K-556-6. The major QTL appeared dominant based on a validation test in a related F2 population. SNP markers flanking each QTL were positioned in physical contigs carrying genes involved in plant defense based on synteny with related legumes. These markers could be used to introgress resistance alleles from IT97K-556-6 into susceptible local blackeye varieties by backcrossing.
Project description:The dispersion of pathogenic microorganisms consists of the transport of pathogens from their source to inoculate a new host. Agricultural and economic importance of the Soybean root rot justifies studying this disease, especially the role of insects as dispersers. The aim of this study was to evaluate the role of the ladybird beetle, Cycloneda sanguinea Linnaeus (Coleoptera: Coccinellidae) in the dispersion of pathogens that cause Soybean root rot. Three pathogen species, Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) (Sphaeropsidales: Botryosphaeriaceae), Fusarium incarnatum-equiseti species complex (FIESC), and F. commune (Skovgaard) O'Donnell & Nirenberg were isolated from the midgut of ladybird beetles and cultured. Macrophomina phaseolina was identified by morphology while for the other two species, DNA was sequenced. The DNA extracted was amplified in the Internal Transcriber Spacer (ITS) region, sequenced and compared to voucher sequences deposited in the GenBank. Sequences of nucleotide ITS1-5.8 S were identified in the regions of rDNA-ITS4 ribosomal DNA. This is the first report of Macrophomina phaseolina (Tassi) (Sphaeropsidales: Botryosphaeriaceae), Fusarium incarnatum-equiseti species complex (FIESC), and F. commune (Skovgaard) O'Donnell & Nirenberg, being dispersed by C. sanguinea in Brazilian soybean fields.
Project description:BACKGROUND:With the availability of genome sequences, gene expression analysis of jute has drawn considerable attention for understanding the regulatory mechanisms of fiber development and improving fiber quality. Gene expression profiles of a target gene can provide valuable clues towards the understanding of its biological function. Reverse transcription quantitative real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) is the best method for targeted gene expression analysis due to its sensitivity and reproducibility. However, calculating relative expression requires reference genes, which must be stable across various biological conditions. For this purposes, 11 prospective genes namely, 28S RNA, ACT7, CYP, EF1A, EF2, ETIF3E, GAPDH, PP2Ac, PTB, UBC2 and UBI1 were evaluated for their potential use as reference genes in jute. RESULTS:The expression stabilities of eleven prospective genes were analyzed in various jute plant tissues, such as the root, stick, bark, leaf, flower, seed and fiber, as well as under abiotic (waterlogged, drought and salinity) and biotic stress (infestation with Macrophomina phaseolina) conditions with different time points. All 11 genes were variably expressed in different tissues and stress conditions. To find suitable reference genes in different sample sets, a comprehensive approach based on four statistical algorithms such as GeNorm, BestKeeper, NormFinder the ΔCt was used. The PP2Ac and EF2 genes were the most stably expressed across the different tissues. ACT7 and UBC2 were suitable reference genes under drought stress, and CYP and PP2Ac were the most appropriate after inoculation with Macrophomina phaseolina. Under salinity stress, PP2Ac and UBC2 were the best genes, and ACT7 and PP2Ac were the most suitable under waterlogged conditions. CONCLUSION:Expression stability of reference genes from jute varied in different tissues and selected experimental conditions. Our results provide a valuable resource for the accurate normalization of gene expression experiments in fiber research for important bast fiber crops.
Project description:The maintenance of leaf greenness in wheat, highly responsible for yield potential and resistance to drought stress, has been proved to be quantitatively inherited and susceptible to interact with environments by traditional genetic analysis. In order to further dissect the developmental genetic behaviors of flag leaf greenness under terminal drought, unconditional and conditional QTL mapping strategies were performed with a mixed linear model in 120 F8-derived recombinant inbred lines (RILs) from two Chinese common wheat cultivars (Longjian 19 × Q9086) in different water environments. A total of 65 additive QTLs (A-QTLs) and 42 pairs of epistatic QTLs (AA-QTLs) were identified as distribution on almost all 21 chromosomes except 5A, explaining from 0.24 to 3.29 % of the phenotypic variation. Of these, 22 A-QTLs and 25 pairs of AA-QTLs were common in two sets of mapping methods but the others differed. These putative QTLs were essentially characteristic of time- and environmentally-dependent expression patterns. Indeed some loci were expressed at two or more stages, while no single QTL was continually active through whole measuring duration. More loci were detected in early growth periods but most of QTL × water environment interactions (QEIs) happened in mid-anaphase, where drought stress was more conducted with negative regulation on QTL expressions. Compared to other genetic components, epistatic effects and additive QEIs effects could be predominant in regulating phenotypic variations during the ontogeny of leaf greenness. Several QTL cluster regions were suggestive of tight linkage or expression pleiotropy in the inheritance of these traits. Some reproducibly-expressed QTLs or common loci consistent with previously detected would be useful to the genetic improvement of staygreen types in wheat through MAS, especially in water-deficit environments.