ABSTRACT: Stalk strength is an important trait in maize (Zea mays L.). Strong stalks reduce lodging and maximize harvestable yield. Studies show rind penetrometer resistance (RPR), or the force required to pierce a stalk rind with a spike, is a valid approximation of strength. We measured RPR across 4,692 recombinant inbreds (RILs) comprising the maize nested association mapping (NAM) panel derived from crosses of diverse inbreds to the inbred, B73. An intermated B73×Mo17 family (IBM) of 196 RILs and a panel of 2,453 diverse inbreds from the North Central Regional Plant Introduction Station (NCRPIS) were also evaluated. We measured RPR in three environments. Family-nested QTL were identified by joint-linkage mapping in the NAM panel. We also performed a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) in each panel. Broad sense heritability computed on a line means basis was low for RPR. Only 8 of 26 families had a heritability above 0.20. The NCRPIS diversity panel had a heritability of 0.54. Across NAM and IBM families, 18 family-nested QTL and 141 significant GWAS associations were identified for RPR. Numerous weak associations were also found in the NCRPIS diversity panel. However, few were linked to loci involved in phenylpropanoid and cellulose synthesis or vegetative phase transition. Using an identity-by-state (IBS) relationship matrix estimated from 1.6 million single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and RPR measures from 20% of the NAM panel, genomic prediction by GBLUP explained 64±2% of variation in the remaining RILs. In the NCRPIS diversity panel, an IBS matrix estimated from 681,257 SNPs and RPR measures from 20% of the panel explained 33±3% of variation in the remaining inbreds. These results indicate the high genetic complexity of stalk strength and the potential for genomic prediction to hasten its improvement.
Project description:Height is one of the most heritable and easily measured traits in maize (Zea mays L.). Given a pedigree or estimates of the genomic identity-by-state among related plants, height is also accurately predictable. But, mapping alleles explaining natural variation in maize height remains a formidable challenge. To address this challenge, we measured the plant height, ear height, flowering time, and node counts of plants grown in >64,500 plots across 13 environments. These plots contained >7300 inbreds representing most publically available maize inbreds in the United States and families of the maize Nested Association Mapping (NAM) panel. Joint-linkage mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL), fine mapping in near isogenic lines (NILs), genome-wide association studies (GWAS), and genomic best linear unbiased prediction (GBLUP) were performed. The heritability of maize height was estimated to be >90%. Mapping NAM family-nested QTL revealed the largest explained 2.1 ± 0.9% of height variation. The effects of two tropical alleles at this QTL were independently validated by fine mapping in NIL families. Several significant associations found by GWAS colocalized with established height loci, including brassinosteroid-deficient dwarf1, dwarf plant1, and semi-dwarf2. GBLUP explained >80% of height variation in the panels and outperformed bootstrap aggregation of family-nested QTL models in evaluations of prediction accuracy. These results revealed maize height was under strong genetic control and had a highly polygenic genetic architecture. They also showed that multiple models of genetic architecture differing in polygenicity and effect sizes can plausibly explain a population's variation in maize height, but they may vary in predictive efficacy.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Ostrinia nubilalis (ECB) and Sesamia nonagrioides (MCB) are two maize stem borers which cause important losses in temperate maize production, but QTL analyses for corn borer resistance were mostly restricted to ECB resistance and maize materials genetically related (mapping populations derived from B73). Therefore, the objective of this work was to identify and characterize QTLs for MCB resistance and agronomic traits in a RILs population derived from European flint inbreds. RESULTS: Three QTLs were detected for stalk tunnel length at bins 1.02, 3.05 and 8.05 which explained 7.5% of the RILs genotypic variance. The QTL at bin 3.05 was co-located to a QTL related to plant height and grain humidity and the QTL at bin 8.05 was located near a QTL related to yield. CONCLUSIONS: Our results, when compared with results from other authors, suggest the presence of genes involved in cell wall biosynthesis or fortification with effects on resistance to different corn borer species and digestibility for dairy cattle. Particularly, we proposed five candidate genes related to cell wall characteristics which could explain the QTL for stalk tunnelling in the region 3.05. However, the small proportion of genotypic variance explained by the QTLs suggest that there are also many other genes of small effect regulating MCB resistance and we conclude that MAS seems not promising for this trait. Two QTLs detected for stalk tunnelling overlap with QTLs for agronomic traits, indicating the presence of pleitropism or linkage between genes affecting resistance and agronomic traits.
Project description:Stalk lodging resistance, which is mainly measured by stem diameter (SD), stalk bending strength (SBS), and rind penetrometer resistance (RPR) in maize, seriously affects the yield and quality of maize (Zea mays L.). To dissect its genetic architecture, in this study multi-locus genome-wide association studies for stalk lodging resistance-related traits were conducted in a population of 257 inbred lines, with tropical, subtropical, and temperate backgrounds, genotyped with 48,193 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms. The analyses of phenotypic variations for the above traits in three environments showed high broad-sense heritability (0.679, 0.720, and 0.854, respectively). In total, 423 significant Quantitative Trait Nucleotides (QTNs) were identified by mrMLM, FASTmrEMMA, ISIS EM-BLASSO, and pLARmEB methods to be associated with the above traits. Among these QTNs, 29, 34, and 48 were commonly detected by multiple methods or across multiple environments to be related to SD, SBS, and RPR, respectively. The superior allele analyses in 30 elite lines showed that only eight lines contained more than 50% of the superior alleles, indicating that stalk lodging resistance can be improved by the integration of more superior alleles. Among sixty-three candidate genes of the consistently expressed QTNs, GRMZM5G856734 and GRMZM2G116885, encoding membrane steroid-binding protein 1 and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1, respectively, possibly inhibit cell elongation and division, which regulates lodging resistance. Our results provide the further understanding of the genetic foundation of maize lodging resistance.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Maize is one of the most important staple crops and is widely grown throughout the world. Stalk lodging can cause enormous yield losses in maize production. However, rind penetrometer resistance (RPR), which is recognized as a reliable measurement to evaluate stalk strength, has been shown to be efficient and useful for improving stalk lodging-resistance. Linkage mapping is an acknowledged approach for exploring the genetic architecture of target traits. In addition, genomic selection (GS) using whole genome markers enhances selection efficiency for genetically complex traits. In the present study, two recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations were utilized to dissect the genetic basis of RPR, which was evaluated in seven growth stages. RESULTS:The optimal stages to measure stalk strength are the silking phase and stages after silking. A total of 66 and 45 quantitative trait loci (QTL) were identified in each RIL population. Several potential candidate genes were predicted according to the maize gene annotation database and were closely associated with the biosynthesis of cell wall components. Moreover, analysis of gene ontology (GO) enrichment and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) pathway further indicated that genes related to cell wall formation were involved in the determination of RPR. In addition, a multivariate model of genomic selection efficiently improved the prediction accuracy relative to a univariate model and a model considering RPR-relevant loci as fixed effects. CONCLUSIONS:The genetic architecture of RPR is highly genetically complex. Multiple minor effect QTL are jointly involved in controlling phenotypic variation in RPR. Several pleiotropic QTL identified in multiple stages may contain reliable genes and can be used to develop functional markers for improving the selection efficiency of stalk strength. The application of genomic selection to RPR may be a promising approach to accelerate breeding process for improving stalk strength and enhancing lodging-resistance.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Maize (Zea Mays L.) is one of the most important cereal crops worldwide and provides food for billions of people. Stalk lodging can greatly undermine the standability of maize plants and therefore decrease crop yields. Rind penetrometer resistance is an effective and reliable method for evaluating maize stalk strength, which is highly correlated with stalk lodging resistance. In this study, two recombinant inbred line populations were constructed from crosses between the H127R and Chang7-2 lines, and between the B73 and By804 lines. We genotyped these two populations and their parents using 3,072 single nucleotide polymorphism markers and performed phenotypic assessment of rind penetrometer resistance in multiple environments to dissect the genetic architecture of rind penetrometer resistance in maize. RESULTS: Based on two linkage maps of 1,397.1 and 1,600.4 cM with average interval of 1.7 and 2.1 cM between adjacent makers, respectively, seven quantitative trait loci (QTL) for rind penetrometer resistance were detected in the two recombinant inbred line populations. These QTL were distributed in seven genomic regions, and each accounted for 4.4-18.9% of the rind penetrometer resistance variation. The QTL with the largest effect on rind penetrometer resistance, qRPR3-1, was located on chromosome 3 with the flanking markers PZE-103123325 and SYN23245. This locus was further narrowed down to a 3.1-Mb interval by haplotype analysis using high-density markers in the target region. Within this interval, four genes associated with the biosynthesis of cell wall components were considered as potential candidate genes for the rind penetrometer resistance effect. CONCLUSIONS: The inheritance of rind penetrometer resistance is rather complex. A few large-effect quantitative trait loci, together with a several minor-effect QTL, contributed to the phenotypic variation in rind penetrometer resistance in the two recombinant inbred line populations that were examined. A potential approach for improving stalk strength and crop yields in commercial maize lines may be to introgress favorable alleles of the locus that was found to have the largest effect on rind penetrometer resistance (qRPR3-1).
Project description:Doubled haploid (DH) lines produced via in vivo haploid induction have become indispensable in maize research and practical breeding, so it is important to understand traits characteristics in DH and its corresponding haploids which derived from each DH lines. In this study, a DH population derived from Zheng58?×?Chang7-2 and a haploid population, were developed, genotyped and evaluated to investigate genetic architecture of eight stalk traits, especially rind penetrometer resistance (RPR) and in vitro dry matter digestion (IVDMD), which affecting maize stalk lodging-resistance and feeding values, respectively.Phenotypic correlation coefficients ranged from 0.38 to 0.69 between the two populations for eight stalk traits. Heritability values of all stalk traits ranged from 0.49 to 0.81 in the DH population, and 0.58 to 0.89 in the haploid population. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping study showed that a total of 47 QTL for all traits accounting for genetic variations ranging from 1.6 to 36.5% were detected in two populations. One or more QTL sharing common region for each trait were detected between two different ploidy populations. Potential candidate genes predicated from the four QTL support intervals for RPR and IVDMD were indirectly or directly involved with cellulose and lignin biosynthesis, which participated in cell wall formation. The increased expression levels of lignin and cellulose synthesis key genes in the haploid situation illustrated that dosage compensation may account for genome dosage effect in our study.The current investigation extended understanding about the genetic basis of stalk traits and correlations between DH and its haploid populations, which showed consistence and difference between them in phenotype, QTL characters, and gene expression. The higher heritabilities and partly higher QTL detection power were presented in haploid population than in DH population. All of which described above could lay a preliminary foundation for genetic architecture study with haploid population and may benefit selection in haploid-stage to reduce cost in DH breeding.
Project description:Maize is highly sensitive to short term flooding and submergence. Early season flooding reduces germination, survival and growth rate of maize seedlings. We aimed to discover genetic variation for submergence tolerance in maize and elucidate the genetic basis of submergence tolerance through transcriptional profiling and linkage analysis of contrasting genotypes. A diverse set of maize nested association mapping (NAM) founder lines were screened, and two highly tolerant (Mo18W and M162W) and sensitive (B97 and B73) genotypes were identified. Tolerant lines exhibited delayed senescence and lower oxidative stress levels compared to sensitive lines. Transcriptome analysis was performed on these inbreds to provide genome level insights into the molecular responses to submergence. Tolerant lines had higher transcript abundance of several fermentation-related genes and an unannotated Pyrophosphate-Dependent Fructose-6-Phosphate 1-Phosphotransferase gene during submergence. A coexpression network enriched for CBF (C-REPEAT/DRE BINDING FACTOR: C-REPEAT/DRE BINDING FACTOR) genes, was induced by submergence in all four inbreds, but was more activated in the tolerant Mo18W. A recombinant inbred line (RIL) population derived from Mo18W and B73 was screened for submergence tolerance. A major QTL named Subtol6 was mapped to chromosome 6 that explains 22% of the phenotypic variation within the RIL population. We identified two candidate genes (HEMOGLOBIN2 and RAV1) underlying Subtol6 based on contrasting expression patterns observed in B73 and Mo18W. Sources of tolerance identified in this study (Subtol6) can be useful to increase survival rate during flooding events that are predicted to increase in frequency with climate change.
Project description:A few breeding companies dominate the maize (Zea mays L.) hybrid market in Brazil: Monsanto® (35%), DuPont Pioneer® (30%), Dow Agrosciences® (15%), Syngenta® (10%) and Helix Sementes (4%). Therefore, it is important to monitor the genetic diversity in commercial germplasms as breeding practices, registration and marketing of new cultivars can lead to a significant reduction of the genetic diversity. Reduced genetic variation may lead to crop vulnerabilities, food insecurity and limited genetic gains following selection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the genetic vulnerability risk by examining the relationship between the commercial Brazilian maize germplasms and the Nested Association Mapping (NAM) Parents. For this purpose, we used the commercial hybrids with the largest market share in Brazil and the NAM parents. The hybrids were genotyped for 768 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), using the Illumina Goldengate® platform. The NAM parent genomic data, comprising 1,536 SNPs for each line, were obtained from the Panzea data bank. The population structure, genetic diversity and the correlation between allele frequencies were analyzed. Based on the estimated effective population size and genetic variability, it was found that there is a low risk of genetic vulnerability in the commercial Brazilian maize germplasms. However, the genetic diversity is lower than those found in the NAM parents. Furthermore, the Brazilian germplasms presented no close relations with most NAM parents, except B73. This indicates that B73, or its heterotic group (Iowa Stiff Stalk Synthetic), contributed to the development of the commercial Brazilian germplasms.
Project description:Maize (Zea mays L.), a model species for genetic studies, is one of the two most important crop species worldwide. The genome sequence of the reference genotype, B73, representative of the stiff stalk heterotic group was recently updated (AGPv4) using long-read sequencing and optical mapping technology. To facilitate the use of AGPv4 and to enable functional genomic studies and association of genotype with phenotype, we determined expression abundances for replicated mRNA-sequencing datasets from 79 tissues and five abiotic/biotic stress treatments revealing 36 207 expressed genes. Characterization of the B73 transcriptome across six organs revealed 4154 organ-specific and 7704 differentially expressed (DE) genes following stress treatment. Gene co-expression network analyses revealed 12 modules associated with distinct biological processes containing 13 590 genes providing a resource for further association of gene function based on co-expression patterns. Presence-absence variants (PAVs) previously identified using whole genome resequencing data from 61 additional inbred lines were enriched in organ-specific and stress-induced DE genes suggesting that PAVs may function in phenological variation and adaptation to environment. Relative to core genes conserved across the 62 profiled inbreds, PAVs have lower expression abundances which are correlated with their frequency of dispersion across inbreds and on average have significantly fewer co-expression network connections suggesting that a subset of PAVs may be on an evolutionary path to pseudogenization. To facilitate use by the community, we developed the Maize Genomics Resource website (maize.plantbiology.msu.edu) for viewing and data-mining these resources and deployed two new views on the maize electronic Fluorescent Pictograph Browser (bar.utoronto.ca/efp_maize).
Project description:Maize is highly sensitive to short term flooding and submergence. We aimed to discover genetic variation for submergence tolerance in maize and elucidate the genetic basis of submergence tolerance through transcriptional profiling of contrasting genotypes. A diverse set of maize nested association mapping (NAM) founder lines were screened, and two highly tolerant (Mo18W and M162W) and sensitive (B97 and B73) genotypes were identified. Transcriptome analysis was performed on these inbreds to provide genome level insights into the molecular responses to submergence. RNA deep sequencing of shoot tissue from four inbreds (B73, B97, Mo18W and M162W) in three conditions 24h control (non-submerged), 24h submerged and 72h submerged.