Genetic Architecture of Phenomic-Enabled Canopy Coverage in Glycine max.
ABSTRACT: Digital imagery can help to quantify seasonal changes in desirable crop phenotypes that can be treated as quantitative traits. Because limitations in precise and functional phenotyping restrain genetic improvement in the postgenomic era, imagery-based phenomics could become the next breakthrough to accelerate genetic gains in field crops. Whereas many phenomic studies focus on exploratory analysis of spectral data without obvious interpretative value, we used field images to directly measure soybean canopy development from phenological stage V2 to R5. Over 3 years, we collected imagery using ground and aerial platforms of a large and diverse nested association panel comprising 5555 lines. Genome-wide association analysis of canopy coverage across sampling dates detected a large quantitative trait locus (QTL) on soybean (Glycine max, L. Merr.) chromosome 19. This QTL provided an increase in yield of 47.3 kg ha-1 Variance component analysis indicated that a parameter, described as average canopy coverage, is a highly heritable trait (h2 = 0.77) with a promising genetic correlation with grain yield (0.87), enabling indirect selection of yield via canopy development parameters. Our findings indicate that fast canopy coverage is an early season trait that is inexpensive to measure and has great potential for application in breeding programs focused on yield improvement. We recommend using the average canopy coverage in multiple trait schemes, especially for the early stages of the breeding pipeline (including progeny rows and preliminary yield trials), in which the large number of field plots makes collection of grain yield data challenging.
Project description:Grain yield in wheat is a polygenic trait that is influenced by environmental and genetic interactions at all stages of the plant's growth. Yield is usually broken down into three components; number of spikes per area, grain number per spike, and grain weight (TGW). In polyploid wheat, studies have identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) which affect TGW, yet few have been validated and fine-mapped using independent germplasm, thereby having limited impact in breeding.In this study we identified a major QTL for TGW, yield and green canopy duration on wheat chromosome 6A of the Spark x Rialto population, across 12 North European environments. Using independent germplasm in the form of BC2 and BC4 near isogenic lines (NILs), we validated the three QTL effects across environments. In four of the five experiments the Rialto 6A introgression gave significant improvements in yield (5.5%) and TGW (5.1%), with morphometric measurements showing that the increased grain weight was a result of wider grains. The extended green canopy duration associated with the high yielding/TGW Rialto allele was comprised of two independent effects; earlier flowering and delayed final maturity, and was expressed stably across the five environments. The wheat homologue (TaGW2) of a rice gene associated with increased TGW and grain width was mapped within the QTL interval. However, no polymorphisms were identified in the coding sequence between the parents.The discovery and validation through near-isogenic lines of robust QTL which affect yield, green canopy duration, thousand grain weight, and grain width on chromosome 6A of hexaploid wheat provide an important first step to advance our understanding of the genetic mechanisms regulating the complex processes governing grain size and yield in polyploid wheat.
Project description:Drought-stressed plants display reduced stomatal conductance, which results in increased leaf temperature by limiting transpiration. In this study, thermal imaging was used to quantify the differences in canopy temperature under drought in a rice diversity panel consisting of 293 indica accessions. The population was grown under paddy field conditions and drought stress was imposed for 2 weeks at flowering. The canopy temperature of the accessions during stress negatively correlated with grain yield (r= -0.48) and positively with plant height (r=0.56). Temperature values were used to perform a genome-wide association (GWA) analysis using a 45K single nucleotide polynmorphism (SNP) map. A quantitative trait locus (QTL) for canopy temperature under drought was detected on chromosome 3 and fine-mapped using a high-density imputed SNP map. The candidate genes underlying the QTL point towards differences in the regulation of guard cell solute intake for stomatal opening as the possible source of temperature variation. Genetic variation for the significant markers of the QTL was present only within the tall, low-yielding landraces adapted to drought-prone environments. The absence of variation in the shorter genotypes, which showed lower leaf temperature and higher grain yield, suggests that breeding for high grain yield in rice under paddy conditions has reduced genetic variation for stomatal response under drought.
Project description:Recent advances in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) remote sensing and image analysis provide large amounts of plant canopy data, but there is no method to integrate the large imagery datasets with the much smaller manually collected datasets. A simple geographic information system (GIS)-based analysis for a UAV-supported field study (GAUSS) analytical framework was developed to integrate these datasets. It has three steps: developing a model for predicting sample values from UAV imagery, field gridding and trait value prediction, and statistical testing of predicted values. A field cultivation experiment was conducted to examine the effectiveness of the GAUSS framework, using a soybean-wheat crop rotation as the model system Fourteen soybean cultivars and subsequently a single wheat cultivar were grown in the same field. The crop rotation benefits of the soybeans for wheat yield were examined using GAUSS. Combining manually sampled data (<i>n</i> = 143) and pixel-based UAV imagery indices produced a large amount of high-spatial-resolution predicted wheat yields (<i>n</i> = 8,756). Significant differences were detected among soybean cultivars in their effects on wheat yield, and soybean plant traits were associated with the increases. This is the first reported study that links traits of legume plants with rotational benefits to the subsequent crop. Although some limitations and challenges remain, the GAUSS approach can be applied to many types of field-based plant experimentation, and has potential for extensive use in future studies.
Project description:Drought stress causes the greatest soybean [Glycine max (L.) Merr.] yield losses among the abiotic stresses in rain-fed U.S. growing areas. Because less than 10% of U.S. soybean hectares are irrigated, combating this stress requires soybean plants which possess physiological mechanisms to tolerate drought for a period of time. Phenotyping for these mechanisms is challenging, and the genetic architecture for these traits is poorly understood. A morphological trait, slow or delayed canopy wilting, has been observed in a few exotic plant introductions (PIs), and may lead to yield improvement in drought stressed fields. In this study, we visually scored wilting during stress for a panel of 162 genetically diverse maturity group VI-VIII soybean lines genotyped with the SoySNP50K iSelect BeadChip. Field evaluation of canopy wilting was conducted under rain-fed conditions at two locations (Athens, GA and Salina, KS) in 2015 and 2016. Substantial variation in canopy wilting was observed among the genotypes. Using a genome-wide association mapping approach, 45 unique SNPs that tagged 44 loci were associated with canopy wilting in at least one environment with one region identified in a single environment and data from across all environments. Several new soybean accessions were identified with canopy wilting superior to those of check genotypes. The germplasm and genomic regions identified can be used to better understand the slow canopy wilting trait and be incorporated into elite germplasm to improve drought tolerance in soybean.
Project description:Background:In the early stages of plant breeding programs high-quality phenotypes are still a constraint to improve genetic gain. New field-based high-throughput phenotyping (HTP) platforms have the capacity to rapidly assess thousands of plots in a field with high spatial and temporal resolution, with the potential to measure secondary traits correlated to yield throughout the growing season. These secondary traits may be key to select more time and most efficiently soybean lines with high yield potential. Soybean average canopy coverage (ACC), measured by unmanned aerial systems (UAS), is highly heritable, with a high genetic correlation with yield. The objective of this study was to compare the direct selection for yield with indirect selection using ACC and using ACC as a covariate in the yield prediction model (Yield|ACC) in early stages of soybean breeding. In 2015 and 2016 we grew progeny rows (PR) and collected yield and days to maturity (R8) in a typical way and canopy coverage using a UAS carrying an RGB camera. The best soybean lines were then selected with three parameters, Yield, ACC and Yield|ACC, and advanced to preliminary yield trials (PYT). Results:We found that for the PYT in 2016, after adjusting yield for R8, there was no significant difference among the mean performances of the lines selected based on ACC and Yield. In the PYT in 2017 we found that the highest yield mean was from the lines directly selected for yield, but it may be due to environmental constraints in the canopy growth. Our results indicated that PR selection using Yield|ACC selected the most top-ranking lines in advanced yield trials. Conclusions:Our findings emphasize the value of aerial HTP platforms for early stages of plant breeding. Though ACC selection did not result in the best performance lines in the second year of selections, our results indicate that ACC has a role in the effective selection of high-yielding soybean lines.
Project description:By 2050, the U.S. Corn Belt will likely face a 23% increase in leaf-to-air vapor pressure deficit (VPD<sub>L</sub>), the driving force of evapotranspiration (ET), which may restrict maize yield improvements for rainfed agroecosystems. Alternative cropping systems, such as maize and legume intercrops, have previously demonstrated yield and resource-use advantages over monocultures. In this study, the residual energy balance approach was used to gain insights into how an additive simultaneous maize and soybean intercrop system regulates ET and water-use efficiency (WUE) compared to standard maize and soybean monoculture systems of the U.S. Corn Belt. Experimental field plots were rain-fed and arranged in a randomized complete block design in three blocks. Photosynthetic capacity and grain yield of maize were conserved in the intercrop. However, its competitive dominance shaded 80%-90% of incident light for intercropped soybean at canopy closure, leading to a 94% decrease in grain yield compared to soybean monoculture. The total grain yield per unit area of the additive intercrop (land-use efficiency) increased by 11% ± 6% (1 SE). Compared to maize monoculture, the intercrop had higher latent heat fluxes (<i>λ</i>ET) at night but lower daytime <i>λ</i>ET as the intercrop canopy surface temperature was approximately .25°C warmer, partitioning more energy to sensible heat flux. However, the diel differences in <i>λ</i>ET fluxes were not sufficient to establish a statistically significant or biologically relevant decrease in seasonal water-use (ΣET). Likewise, the increase in land-use efficiency by the intercrop was not sufficient to establish an increase in seasonal water-use efficiency. Intercropping high-performing maize and soybean cultivars in a dense configuration without negative impact suggests that efforts to increase yield and WUE may lead to improved benefits.
Project description:Grain yield (YLD) is affected by thousand kernel weight (TKW) which reflects the combination of grain length (GL), grain width (GW) and grain area (AREA). Grain weight is also influenced by heading time (HT) and plant height (PH). To detect candidate genes and quantitative trait loci (QTL) of yield components, a durum wheat recombinant inbred line (RIL) population was evaluated in three field trials. The RIL was genotyped with a 90K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array and a high-density genetic linkage map with 5134 markers was obtained. A total of 30 QTL were detected including 23 QTL grouped in clusters on 1B, 2A, 3A, 4B and 6B chromosomes. A QTL cluster on 2A chromosome included a major QTL for HT co-located with QTL for YLD, TKW, GL, GW and AREA, respectively. The photoperiod sensitivity (<i>Ppd-A1</i>) gene was found in the physical position of this cluster. Serine carboxypeptidase, Big grain 1 and ?-fructofuranosidase candidate genes were mapped in clusters containing QTL for seed size. This study showed that yield components and phenological traits had higher inheritances than grain yield, allowing an accurate QTL cluster detection. This was a requisite to physically map QTL on durum genome and to identify candidate genes affecting grain yield.
Project description:High-throughput phenotyping systems with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) enable observation of crop lines in the field. In this study, we show the ability of time-course monitoring of canopy height (CH) to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and to characterise their pleiotropic effect on various traits. We generated a digital surface model from low-altitude UAV-captured colour digital images and investigated CH data of rice multi-parental advanced generation inter-cross (MAGIC) lines from tillering and heading to maturation. Genome-wide association studies (GWASs) using the CH data and haplotype information of the MAGIC lines revealed 11 QTLs for CH. Each QTL showed haplotype effects on different features of CH such as stage-specificity and constancy. Haplotype analysis revealed relationships at the QTL level between CH and, vegetation fraction and leaf colour [derived from UAV red–green–blue (RGB) data], and CH and yield-related traits. Noticeably, haplotypes with canopy lowering effects at qCH1-4, qCH2, and qCH10-2 increased the ratio of panicle weight to leaf and stem weight, suggesting biomass allocation to grain yield or others through growth regulation of CH. Allele mining using gene information with eight founders of the MAGIC lines revealed the possibility that qCH1-4 contains multiple alleles of semi-dwarf 1 (sd1), the IR-8 allele of which significantly contributed to the “green revolution” in rice. This use of remote-sensing-derived phenotyping data into genetics using the MAGIC lines gives insight into how rice plants grow, develop, and produce grains in phenology and provides information on effective haplotypes for breeding with ideal plant architecture and grain yield.
Project description:Huge efforts have been invested in the last two decades to dissect the genetic bases of complex traits including yields of many crop plants, through quantitative trait locus (QTL) analyses. However, almost all the studies were based on linkage maps constructed using low-throughput molecular markers, e.g. restriction fragment length polymorphisms (RFLPs) and simple sequence repeats (SSRs), thus are mostly of low density and not able to provide precise and complete information about the numbers and locations of the genes or QTLs controlling the traits. In this study, we constructed an ultra-high density genetic map based on high quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from low-coverage sequences of a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population of rice, generated using new sequencing technology. The quality of the map was assessed by validating the positions of several cloned genes including GS3 and GW5/qSW5, two major QTLs for grain length and grain width respectively, and OsC1, a qualitative trait locus for pigmentation. In all the cases the loci could be precisely resolved to the bins where the genes are located, indicating high quality and accuracy of the map. The SNP map was used to perform QTL analysis for yield and three yield-component traits, number of tillers per plant, number of grains per panicle and grain weight, using data from field trials conducted over years, in comparison to QTL mapping based on RFLPs/SSRs. The SNP map detected more QTLs especially for grain weight, with precise map locations, demonstrating advantages in detecting power and resolution relative to the RFLP/SSR map. Thus this study provided an example for ultra-high density map construction using sequencing technology. Moreover, the results obtained are helpful for understanding the genetic bases of the yield traits and for fine mapping and cloning of QTLs.
Project description:The application of high-throughput plant phenotyping (HTPP) to continuously study plant populations under relevant growing conditions creates the possibility to more efficiently dissect the genetic basis of dynamic adaptive traits. Toward this end, we employed a field-based HTPP system that deployed sets of sensors to simultaneously measure canopy temperature, reflectance, and height on a cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) recombinant inbred line mapping population. The evaluation trials were conducted under well-watered and water-limited conditions in a replicated field experiment at a hot, arid location in central Arizona, with trait measurements taken at different times on multiple days across 2010-2012. Canopy temperature, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), height, and leaf area index (LAI) displayed moderate-to-high broad-sense heritabilities, as well as varied interactions among genotypes with water regime and time of day. Distinct temporal patterns of quantitative trait loci (QTL) expression were mostly observed for canopy temperature and NDVI, and varied across plant developmental stages. In addition, the strength of correlation between HTPP canopy traits and agronomic traits, such as lint yield, displayed a time-dependent relationship. We also found that the genomic position of some QTL controlling HTPP canopy traits were shared with those of QTL identified for agronomic and physiological traits. This work demonstrates the novel use of a field-based HTPP system to study the genetic basis of stress-adaptive traits in cotton, and these results have the potential to facilitate the development of stress-resilient cotton cultivars.