Genetic Vulnerability and the Relationship of Commercial Germplasms of Maize in Brazil with the Nested Association Mapping Parents.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:Benzoxazinoids represent preformed protective and allelopathic compounds. The main benzoxazinoid in maize (Zea mays L.) is 2,4-dihydroxy-7-methoxy-1,4-benzoxazin-3-one (DIMBOA). DIMBOA confers resistance to herbivores and microbes. Protective concentrations are found predominantly in young plantlets. We made use of the genetic diversity present in the maize nested association mapping (NAM) panel to identify lines with significant benzoxazinoid concentrations at later developmental stages. At 24 d after imbibition (dai), only three lines, including Mo17, showed effective DIMBOA concentrations of 1.5mM or more; B73, by contrast, had low a DIMBOA content. Mapping studies based on Mo17 and B73 were performed to reveal mechanisms that influence the DIMBOA level in 24 dai plants. A major quantitative trait locus mapped to the Bx gene cluster located on the short arm of chromosome 4, which encodes the DIMBOA biosynthetic genes. Mo17 was distinguished from all other NAM lines by high transcriptional expression of the Bx1 gene at later developmental stages. Bx1 encodes the signature enzyme of the pathway. In Mo17×B73 hybrids at 24 dai, only the Mo17 Bx1 allele transcript was detected. A 3.9kb cis-element, termed DICE (distal cis-element), that is located in the Bx gene cluster approximately 140 kb upstream of Bx1, was required for high Bx1 transcript levels during later developmental stages in Mo17. The DICE region was a hotspot of meiotic recombination. Genetic analysis revealed that high 24 dai DIMBOA concentrations were not strictly dependent on high Bx1 transcript levels. However, constitutive expression of Bx1 in transgenics increased DIMBOA levels at 24 dai, corroborating a correlation between DIMBOA content and Bx1 transcription.
Project description:TRIMs (terminal-repeat retrotransposons in miniature), which are characterized by their small size, have been discovered in all investigated vascular plants and even in animals. Here, we identified a highly conservative TRIM family referred to as Wukong elements in the maize genome. The Wukong family shows a distinct pattern of tandem arrangement in the maize genome suggesting a high rate of unequal crossing over. Estimation of insertion times implies a burst of retrotransposition activity of the Wukong family after the allotetraploidization of maize. Using next-generation sequencing data, we detected 87 new Wukong insertions in parents of the maize NAM population relative to the B73 reference genome and found abundant insertion polymorphism of Wukong elements in 75 re-sequenced maize lines, including teosinte, landraces, and improved lines. These results suggest that Wukong elements possessed a persistent retrotransposition activity throughout maize evolution. Moreover, the phylogenetic relationships among 76 maize inbreds and their relatives based on insertion polymorphisms of Wukong elements should provide us with reliable molecular markers for biodiversity and genetics studies.
Project description:Small RNAs (sRNAs) are hypothesized to contribute to hybrid vigor because they maintain genome integrity, contribute to genetic diversity, and control gene expression. We used Illumina sequencing to assess how sRNA populations vary between two maize inbred lines (B73 and Mo17) and their hybrid. We sampled sRNAs from the seedling shoot apex and the developing ear, two rapidly growing tissues that program the greater growth of maize hybrids. We found that parental differences in siRNAs primarily originate from repeat regions. Although the maize genome contains greater number and complexity of repeats compared with Arabidopsis or rice, we confirmed that, like these simpler plant genomes, 24-nt siRNAs whose abundance differs between maize parents also show a trend of down-regulation following hybridization. Surprisingly, hybrid vigor is fully maintained when 24-nt siRNAs are globally reduced by mutation of the RNA-dependent RNA polymerase 2 encoded by modifier of paramutation1 (mop1). We also discovered that 21-22-nt siRNAs derived from a number of distinct retrotransposon families differentially accumulate between B73 and Mo17 as well as their hybrid. Thus, maize possesses a unique source of genetic variation for regulating transposons and genes at a genomic scale, which may contribute to its high degree of observed heterosis.
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:Hybrid crops produce higher yields than their inbred parents due to heterosis. For high purity of hybrid seeds, it is critical to eliminate self-pollination. Manual or mechanical removal of male parts (such as detasseling in maize) is labor-intensive, fuel and time-consuming, and can cause physical damage to female plants, resulting in significant seed yield reductions. Many male-sterility systems either require a maintainer for male-sterile line propagation or are often affected by environmental factors. Roundup® Hybridization System (RHS) utilizes glyphosate to induce male sterility, which effectively eliminates the need for maintainer lines and removal of male parts for commercial hybrid seed production. The first-generation RHS (RHS1) is based on low expression of a glyphosate-insensitive 5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase (CP4 EPSPS) in pollen. This report presents the second-generation RHS (RHS2) technology built on RNA interference (RNAi) combined with CP4 EPSPS. It utilizes maize endogenous male tissue-specific small interfering RNAs (mts-siRNAs) to trigger cleavage of the CP4 EPSPS mRNA specifically in tassels, resulting in glyphosate-sensitive male cells due to lack of the CP4 EPSPS protein. Male sterility is then induced by glyphosate application at the stages critical for pollen development, and the male-sterile plants are used as the female parent to produce hybrid seed. The endogenous mts-siRNAs are conserved across maize germplasms, and the inducible male sterility was replicated in representative germplasms through introgression of a CP4 EPSPS transgene containing the mts-siRNA target sequence. This technology combines the relative simplicity and convenience of a systemic herbicide spray methodology with targeted protein expression to create an inducible male sterility system for industrial production of row crop hybrid seeds in an environmentally-independent manner.
Project description:Induced point mutations are important genetic resources for their ability to create hypo- and hypermorphic alleles that are useful for understanding gene functions and breeding. However, such mutant populations have only been developed for a few temperate maize varieties, mainly B73 and W22, yet no tropical maize inbred lines have been mutagenized and made available to the public to date. We developed a novel Ethyl Methanesulfonate (EMS) induced mutation resource in maize comprising 2050 independent M2 mutant families in the elite tropical maize inbred ML10. By phenotypic screening, we showed that this population is of comparable quality with other mutagenized populations in maize. To illustrate the usefulness of this population for gene discovery, we performed rapid mapping-by-sequencing to clone a fasciated-ear mutant and identify a causal promoter deletion in ZmCLE7 (CLE7). Our mapping procedure does not require crossing to an unrelated parent, thus is suitable for mapping subtle traits and ones affected by heterosis. This first EMS population in tropical maize is expected to be very useful for the maize research community. Also, the EMS mutagenesis and rapid mapping-by-sequencing pipeline described here illustrate the power of performing forward genetics in diverse maize germplasms of choice, which can lead to novel gene discovery due to divergent genetic backgrounds.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Heterosis describes the superior phenotypes observed in hybrids relative to their inbred parents. Maize is a model system for studying heterosis due to the high levels of yield heterosis and commercial use of hybrids.<h4>Methods</h4>The inbred lines from an association mapping panel were crossed to a common inbred line, B73, to generate nearly 300 hybrid genotypes. Heterosis was evaluated for seventeen phenotypic traits in multiple environments. The majority of hybrids exhibit better-parent heterosis in most of the hybrids measured. Correlations between the levels of heterosis for different traits were generally weak, suggesting that the genetic basis of heterosis is trait-dependent.<h4>Conclusions</h4>The ability to predict heterosis levels using inbred phenotype or genetic distance between the parents varied for the different traits. For some traits it is possible to explain a significant proportion of the heterosis variation using linear modeling while other traits are more difficult to predict.
Project description:These RNA-seq samples represent ten different tissue types for a version of the maize reference genome B73 with an abnormal chromosome 10 containing several knobs on the long arm involved in meiotic drive. This genome was sequenced by the NAM Consortium Group. These samples correspond to project ID PRJEB35367.
Project description:Modern crop breeding is in constant demand for new genetic diversity as part of the arms race with genetic gain. The elite gene pool has limited genetic variation and breeders are trying to introduce novelty from unadapted germplasm, landraces and wild relatives. For polygenic traits, currently available approaches to introgression are not ideal, as there is a demonstrable bias against exotic alleles during selection. Here, we propose a partitioned form of genomic selection, called Origin Specific Genomic Selection (OSGS), where we identify and target selection on favorable exotic alleles. Briefly, within a population derived from a bi-parental cross, we isolate alleles originating from the elite and exotic parents, which then allows us to separate out the predicted marker effects based on the allele origins. We validated the usefulness of OSGS using two nested association mapping (NAM) datasets: barley NAM (elite-exotic) and maize NAM (elite-elite), as well as by computer simulation. Our results suggest that OSGS works well in its goal to increase the contribution of favorable exotic alleles in bi-parental crosses, and it is possible to extend the approach to broader multi-parental populations.