Joint QTL mapping and transcriptome sequencing analysis reveal candidate flowering time genes in Brassica napus L.
ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND:Optimum flowering time is a key agronomic trait in Brassica napus. To investigate the genetic architecture and genetic regulation of flowering time in this important crop, we conducted quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis of flowering time in a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population, including lines with extreme differences in flowering time, in six environments, along with RNA-Seq analysis. RESULTS:We detected 27 QTLs distributed on eight chromosomes among six environments, including one major QTL on chromosome C02 that explained 11-25% of the phenotypic variation and was stably detected in all six environments. RNA-Seq analysis revealed 105 flowering time-related differentially expressed genes (DEGs) that play roles in the circadian clock/photoperiod, autonomous pathway, and hormone and vernalization pathways. We focused on DEGs related to the regulation of flowering time, especially DEGs in QTL regions. CONCLUSIONS:We identified 45 flowering time-related genes in these QTL regions, eight of which are DEGs, including key flowering time genes PSEUDO RESPONSE REGULATOR 7 (PRR7) and FY (located in a major QTL region on C02). These findings provide insights into the genetic architecture of flowering time in B. napus.
Project description:Background:Brassica napus is one of the most important oilseed crops, and also an important biofuel plant due to its low air pollution and renewability. Growth period are important traits that affect yield and are crucial for its adaptation to different environments in B. napus. Results:To elucidate the genetic basis of growth period traits, genome-wide association analysis (GWAS) and linkage mapping were employed to detect the quantitative trait loci (QTL) for days to initial flowering (DIF), days to final flowering (DFF), flowering period (FP), maturity time (MT), and whole growth period (GP). A total of 146 SNPs were identified by association mapping, and 83 QTLs were identified by linkage mapping using the RIL population. Among these QTLs, 19 were pleiotropic SNPs related to multiple traits, and six (q18DFF.A03-2, q18MT.A03-2, q17DFF.A05-1, q18FP.C04, q17DIF.C05 and q17GP.C09) were consistently detected using both mapping methods. Additionally, we performed RNA sequencing to analyze the differential expression of gene (DEG) transcripts between early- and late-flowering lines selected from the RIL population, and the DEGs were integrated with association mapping and linkage analysis to confirm their roles in the growth period. Consequently, 12 candidate genes associated with growth period traits were identified in B. napus. Among these genes, seven have polymorphic sites in the coding sequence and the upstream 2-kb sequence based on the resequencing data. The haplotype BnaSOC1.A05-Haplb and BnaLNK2.C06-Hapla showed more favorable phenotypic traits. Conclusions:The candidate genes identified in this study will contribute to our genetic understanding of growth period traits and can be used as targets for target mutations or marker-assisted breeding for rapeseed adapted to different environments.
Project description:Flowering time adaptation is a major breeding goal in the allopolyploid species Brassica napus. To investigate the genetic architecture of flowering time, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of flowering time was conducted with a diversity panel comprising 523 B. napus cultivars and inbred lines grown in eight different environments. Genotyping was performed with a Brassica 60K Illumina Infinium SNP array. A total of 41 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) distributed on 14 chromosomes were found to be associated with flowering time, and 12 SNPs located in the confidence intervals of quantitative trait loci (QTL) identified in previous researches based on linkage analyses. Twenty-five candidate genes were orthologous to Arabidopsis thaliana flowering genes. To further our understanding of the genetic factors influencing flowering time in different environments, GWAS was performed on two derived traits, environment sensitivity and temperature sensitivity. The most significant SNPs were found near Bn-scaff_16362_1-p380982, just 13 kb away from BnaC09g41990D, which is orthologous to A. thaliana CONSTANS (CO), an important gene in the photoperiod flowering pathway. These results provide new insights into the genetic control of flowering time in B. napus and indicate that GWAS is an effective method by which to reveal natural variations of complex traits in B. napus.
Project description:Most agronomical traits exhibit quantitative variation, which is controlled by multiple genes and are environmentally dependent. To study the genetic variation of flowering time in Brassica napus, a DH population and its derived reconstructed F(2) population were planted in 11 field environments. The flowering time varied greatly with environments; 60% of the phenotypic variation was attributed to genetic effects. Five to 18 QTL at a statistically significant level (SL-QTL) were detected in each environment and, on average, two new SL-QTL were discovered with each added environment. Another type of QTL, micro-real QTL (MR-QTL), was detected repeatedly from at least 2 of the 11 environments; resulting in a total of 36 SL-QTL and 6 MR-QTL. Sixty-three interacting pairs of loci were found; 50% of them were involved in QTL. Hundreds of floral transition genes in Arabidopsis were aligned with the linkage map of B. napus by in silico mapping; 28% of them aligned with QTL regions and 9% were consistent with interacting loci. One locus, BnFLC10, in N10 and a QTL cluster in N16 were specific to spring- and winter-cropped environments respectively. The number of QTL, interacting loci, and aligned functional genes revealed a complex genetic network controlling flowering time in B. napus.
Project description:Life cycle timing is critical for yield and productivity of Brassica napus (rapeseed) cultivars grown in different environments. To facilitate breeding for earliness traits in rapeseed, SNP loci and underlying candidate genes associated with the timing of initial flowering, maturity and final flowering, as well as flowering period (FP) were investigated in two environments in a diversity panel comprising 300 B. napus inbred lines. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) using 201,817 SNP markers previously developed from SLAF-seq (specific locus amplified fragment sequencing) revealed a total of 131 SNPs strongly linked (P?<?4.96E-07) to the investigated traits. Of these 131 SNPs, 40 fell into confidence intervals or were physically adjacent to previously published flowering time QTL or SNPs. Phenotypic effect analysis detected 35 elite allelic variants for early maturing, and 90 for long FP. Candidate genes present in the same linkage disequilibrium blocks (r2>0.6) or in 100 kb regions around significant trait-associated SNPs were screened, revealing 57 B. napus genes (33 SNPs) orthologous to 39 Arabidopsis thaliana flowering time genes. These results support the practical and scientific value of novel large-scale SNP data generation in uncovering the genetic control of agronomic traits in B. napus, and also provide a theoretical basis for molecular marker-assisted selection of earliness breeding in rapeseed.
Project description:Flowering time and maturity are important agronomic traits for soybean cultivars to adapt to different latitudes and achieve maximal yield. Genetic studies on genes and quantitative trait loci (QTL) that control flowering time and maturity are extensive. In particular, the molecular bases of E1-E4, E6, E9, E10, and J have been deciphered. For a better understanding of regulation of flowering time gene networks, we need to understand if more molecular factors carrying different biological functions are also involved in the regulation of flowering time in soybeans. We developed a population derived from a cross between a landrace Jilincailihua (male) and a Chinese cultivar Chongnong16 (female). Both parents carry the same genotypes of E1e2E3HaE4 at E1, E2, E3, and E4 loci. Nighty-six individuals of the F2 population were genotyped with Illumina SoySNP8k iSelect BeadChip. A total of 2,407 polymorphic single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were used to construct a genetic linkage map. One major QTL, qFT12-1, was mapped to an approximately 567-kB region on chromosome 12. Genotyping and phenotyping of recombinant plant whose recombination events were occurring within the QTL region allowed us to narrow down the QTL region to 56.4 kB, in which four genes were annotated. Allelism and association analysis indicated Glyma.12G073900, a PRR7 homolog, is the strongest candidate gene for qFT12-1. The findings of this study disclosed the possible involvement of circadian clock gene in flowering time regulation of soybeans.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Correct timing of flowering is critical for plants to produce enough viable offspring. In Arabidopsis thaliana (Arabidopsis), flowering time is regulated by an intricate network of molecular signaling pathways. Arabidopsis srr1-1 mutants lacking SENSITIVITY TO RED LIGHT REDUCED 1 (SRR1) expression flower early, particularly under short day (SD) conditions (1). SRR1 ensures that plants do not flower prematurely in such non-inductive conditions by controlling repression of the key florigen FT. Here, we have examined the role of SRR1 in the closely related crop species Brassica napus. RESULTS:Arabidopsis SRR1 has five homologs in Brassica napus. They can be divided into two groups, where the A02 and C02 copies show high similarity to AtSRR1 on the protein level. The other group, including the A03, A10 and C09 copies all carry a larger deletion in the amino acid sequence. Three of the homologs are expressed at detectable levels: A02, C02 and C09. Notably, the gene copies show a differential expression pattern between spring and winter type accessions of B. napus. When the three expressed gene copies were introduced into the srr1-1 background, only A02 and C02 were able to complement the srr1-1 early flowering phenotype, while C09 could not. Transcriptional analysis of known SRR1 targets in Bna.SRR1-transformed lines showed that CYCLING DOF FACTOR 1 (CDF1) expression is key for flowering time control via SRR1. CONCLUSIONS:We observed subfunctionalization of the B. napus SRR1 gene copies, with differential expression between early and late flowering accessions of some Bna.SRR1 copies. This suggests involvement of Bna.SRR1 in regulation of seasonal flowering in B. napus. The C09 gene copy was unable to complement srr1-1 plants, but is highly expressed in B. napus, suggesting specialization of a particular function. Furthermore, the C09 protein carries a deletion which may pinpoint a key region of the SRR1 protein potentially important for its molecular function. This is important evidence of functional domain annotation in the highly conserved but unique SRR1 amino acid sequence.
Project description:Brassica napus (B. napus, AACC), is an economically important allotetraploid crop species that resulted from hybridization between two diploid species, Brassica rapa (AA) and Brassica olereacea (CC). We have created one new synthetic B. napus genotype Da-Ae (AACC) and one introgression line Da-Ol-1 (AACC), which were used to generate an F2 mapping population. Plants in this F2 mapping population varied in fatty acid content, flowering time, and growth-related traits. Using quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, we aimed to determine if Da-Ae and Da-Ol-1 provided novel genetic variation beyond what has already been found in B. napus. Making use of the genotyping information generated from RNA-seq data of these two lines and their F2 mapping population of 166 plants, we constructed a genetic map consisting of 2,021 single nucleotide polymorphism markers that spans 2,929 cM across 19 linkage groups. Besides the known major QTL identified, our high resolution genetic map facilitated the identification of several new QTL contributing to the different fatty acid levels, flowering time, and growth-related trait values. These new QTL probably represent novel genetic variation that existed in our new synthetic B. napus strain. By conducting genome-wide expression variation analysis in our F2 mapping population, genetic regions that potentially regulate many genes across the genome were revealed. A FLOWERING LOCUS C gene homolog, which was identified as a candidate regulating flowering time and multiple growth-related traits, was found underlying one of these regions. Integrated QTL and expression QTL analyses also helped us identified candidate causative genes associated with various biological traits through expression level change and/or possible protein function modification.
Project description:Plant height (PH), branch initiation height (BIH), and stem diameter (SD) are three stem-related traits that play crucial roles in plant architecture and lodging resistance. Herein, we show one doubled haploid (DH) population obtained from a cross between Y689 (one <i>Capsella bursa</i>-<i>pastoris</i> derived <i>Brassica napus</i> intertribal introgression) and Westar (<i>B</i>. <i>napus</i> cultivar) that these traits were significantly positively correlated with one another and with flowering time (FT). Based on a high-density SNP map, a total of 102 additive quantitative trait loci (QTL) were identified across six environments. Seventy-two consensus QTL and 49 unique QTL were identified using a two-round strategy of QTL meta-analysis. Notably, a total of 19 major QTL, including 11 novel ones, were detected for these traits, which comprised two QTL clusters on chromosomes A02 and A07. Conditional QTL mapping was performed to preliminarily evaluate the genetic basis (pleiotropy or tight linkage) of the co-localized QTL. In addition, QTL by environment interactions (QEI) mapping was performed to verify the additive QTL and estimate the QEI effect. In the genomic regions of all major QTL, orthologs of the genes involved in phytohormone biosynthesis, phytohormone signaling, flower development, and cell differentiation in <i>Arabidopsis</i> were proposed as candidate genes. Of these, <i>BnaA02g02560</i>, an ortholog of <i>Arabidopsis GASA4</i>, was suggested as a candidate gene for PH, SD, and FT; and <i>BnaA02g08490</i>, an ortholog of <i>Arabidopsis GNL</i>, was associated with PH, BIH and FT. These results provide useful information for further genetic studies on stem-related traits and plant growth adaptation.
Project description:Glucosinolates (GSLs) are a major class of secondary metabolites. The content of seed GSL is largely regulated by environments in rapeseed (<i>Brassica napus</i>). However, the genetic control of seed GSL content responsible for environment in <i>B. napus</i> has been poorly understood. In the current study, a doubled haploid (DH) population from a cross between winter and semi-winter lines of rapeseed was grown in two distinct eco-environments, Germany and China, to evaluate the eco-environment effect and dissect the quantitative trait loci (QTL) responsible for environment for seed GSL in rapeseed. The deviation value of GSL content between eco-environments (GSLE) was calculated for each line in the DH population and the QTLs for GSLE were detected. GSLE ranged from -46.90 to 36.13 ?mol g<sup>-1</sup> meal in the DH population, suggesting the prominent eco-environmental effects for seed GSL in rapeseed. Four QTLs for GSLE were identified on chromosomes A04, A06, and A09 explaining 4.70?9.93% of the phenotypic variation. Comparison of QTLs of seed GSL content between different eco-environments found three QTLs for GSL on A02 from 37.6 to 45.4 cM, A04 from 0 to 17.2 cM, and A09 from 67.0 to 98.6 cM exhibited significant difference of QTL effect between the German and Chinese eco-environments (<i>P</i> < 0.01), indicating the environment sensibility of these loci on seed GSL content. Moreover, flowering time (FT), an important environment adaptation trait in plant, was also investigated in this study. Comparative QTL analysis among GSLE, GSL, and FT revealed that three regions on chromosomes A02, A04, and A09 not only exhibited significant differences in QTL effect between Germany and China, but also co-located with the QTL intervals of GSLE and FT. Our results revealed that most of the GSL loci can influence GSL accumulation under different eco-environments, whereas the three QTL intervals on A02, A04, and A09 might be sensitive to the eco-environments for seed GSL content.
Project description:Brassica napus is an important oilseed crop. Dissection of the genetic architecture underlying oil-related biological processes will greatly facilitates the genetic improvement of rapeseed. The differential gene expression during pod development offers a snapshot on the genes responsible for oil accumulation in. To identify candidate genes in the linkage peaks reported previously, we used RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) technology to analyze the pod transcriptomes of German cultivar Sollux and Chinese inbred line Gaoyou.The RNA samples were collected for RNA-Seq at 5-7, 15-17 and 25-27 days after flowering (DAF). Bioinformatics analysis was performed to investigate differentially expressed genes (DEGs). Gene annotation analysis was integrated with QTL mapping and Brassica napus pod transcriptome profiling to detect potential candidate genes in oilseed.Four hundred sixty five and two thousand, one hundred fourteen candidate DEGs were identified, respectively, between two varieties at the same stages and across different periods of each variety. Then, 33 DEGs between Sollux and Gaoyou were identified as the candidate genes affecting seed oil content by combining those DEGs with the quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping results, of which, one was found to be homologous to Arabidopsis thaliana lipid-related genes.Intervarietal DEGs of lipid pathways in QTL regions represent important candidate genes for oil-related traits. Integrated analysis of transcriptome profiling, QTL mapping and comparative genomics with other relative species leads to efficient identification of most plausible functional genes underlying oil-content related characters, offering valuable resources for bettering breeding program of Brassica napus.This study provided a comprehensive overview on the pod transcriptomes of two varieties with different oil-contents at the three developmental stages.