An Exome-seq Based Tool for Mapping and Selection of Candidate Genes in Maize Deletion Mutants.
ABSTRACT: Despite the large number of genomic and transcriptomic resources in maize, there is still much to learn about the function of genes in developmental and biochemical processes. Some maize mutants that were generated by gamma-irradiation showed clear segregation for the kernel phenotypes in B73?×?Mo17 F2 ears. To better understand the functional genomics of kernel development, we developed a mapping and gene identification pipeline, bulked segregant exome sequencing (BSEx-seq), to map mutants with kernel phenotypes including opaque endosperm and reduced kernel size. BSEx-seq generates and compares the sequence of the exon fraction from mutant and normal plant F2 DNA pools. The comparison can derive mapping peaks, identify deletions within the mapping peak, and suggest candidate genes within the deleted regions. We then used the public kernel-specific expression data to narrow down the list of candidate genes/mutations and identified deletions ranging from several kb to more than 1?Mb. A full deletion allele of the Opaque-2 gene was identified in mutant 531, which occurs within a ?200-kb deletion. Opaque mutant 1486 has a 6248-bp deletion in the mapping interval containing two candidate genes encoding RNA-directed DNA methylation 4 (RdDM4) and AMP-binding protein, respectively. This study demonstrates the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of BSEx-seq for causal mutation mapping and candidate gene selection, providing a new option in mapping-by-sequencing for maize functional genomics studies.
Project description:To better understand maize endosperm filling and maturation, we used ?-irradiation of the B73 maize reference line to generate mutants with opaque endosperm and reduced kernel fill phenotypes, and created a population of 1788 lines including 39 Mo17 × F2s showing stable, segregating, and viable kernel phenotypes. For molecular characterization of the mutants, we developed a novel functional genomics platform that combined bulked segregant RNA and exome sequencing (BSREx-seq) to map causative mutations and identify candidate genes within mapping intervals. To exemplify the utility of the mutants and provide proof-of-concept for the bioinformatics platform, we present detailed characterization of line 937, an opaque mutant harboring a 6203 bp in-frame deletion covering six exons within the Opaque-1 gene. In addition, we describe mutant line 146 which contains a 4.8 kb intragene deletion within the Sugary-1 gene and line 916 in which an 8.6 kb deletion knocks out a Cyclin A2 gene. The publically available algorithm developed in this work improves the identification of causative deletions and its corresponding gaps within mapping peaks. This study demonstrates the utility of ?-irradiation for forward genetics in large nondense genomes such as maize since deletions often affect single genes. Furthermore, we show how this classical mutagenesis method becomes applicable for functional genomics when combined with state-of-the-art genomics tools.
Project description:Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) mapped in different genetic populations are of great significance for marker-assisted breeding. In this study, an F2:3 population were developed from the crossing of two maize inbred lines SG-5 and SG-7 and applied to QTL mapping for seven yield-related traits. The seven traits included 100-kernel weight, ear length, ear diameter, cob diameter, kernel row number, ear weight, and grain weight per plant. Based on an ultra-high density linkage map, a total of thirty-three QTLs were detected for the seven studied traits with composite interval mapping (CIM) method, and fifty-four QTLs were indentified with genome-wide composite interval mapping (GCIM) methods. For these QTLs, Fourteen were both detected by CIM and GCIM methods. Besides, eight of the thirty QTLs detected by CIM were identical to those previously mapped using a F2 population (generating from the same cross as the mapping population in this study), and fifteen were identical to the reported QTLs in other recent studies. For the fifty-four QTLs detected by GCIM, five of them were consistent with the QTLs mapped in the F2 population of SG-5?×?SG-7, and twenty one had been reported in other recent studies. The stable QTLs associated with grain weight were located on maize chromosomes 2, 5, 7, and 9. In addition, differentially expressed genes (DEGs) between SG-5 and SG-7 were obtained from the transcriptomic profiling of grain at different developmental stages and overlaid onto the stable QTLs intervals to predict candidate genes for grain weight in maize. In the physical intervals of confirmed QTLs qKW-7, qEW-9, qEW-10, qGWP-6, qGWP-8, qGWP-10, qGWP-11 and qGWP-12, there were 213 DEGs in total. Finally, eight genes were predicted as candidate genes for grain size/weight. In summary, the stable QTLs would be reliable and the candidate genes predicted would be benefit for maker assisted breeding or cloning.
Project description:Forward genetics remains a powerful method for revealing the genes underpinning organismal form and function, and for revealing how these genes are tied together in gene networks. In maize, forward genetics has been tremendously successful, but the size and complexity of the maize genome made identifying mutant genes an often arduous process with traditional methods. The next generation sequencing revolution has allowed for the gene cloning process to be significantly accelerated in many organisms, even when genomes are large and complex. Here, we describe a bulked-segregant analysis sequencing (BSA-Seq) protocol for cloning mutant genes in maize. Our simple strategy can be used to quickly identify a mapping interval and candidate single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from whole genome sequencing of pooled F2 individuals. We employed this strategy to identify narrow odd dwarf as an enhancer of teosinte branched1, and to identify a new allele of defective kernel1 Our method provides a quick, simple way to clone genes in maize.
Project description:Low levels of the essential amino acids lysine (Lys) and methionine (Met) in a maize-based diet are a major cost to feed and food. Lys deficiency is due to the abundance of Lys-poor proteins in maize kernels. Although a maize mutant, opaque-2 (o2), has sufficient levels of Lys, its soft kernel renders it unfit for storage and transportation. Breeders overcame this problem by selecting quantitative trait loci (QTL) restoring kernel hardness in the presence of o2, a variety called Quality Protein Maize (QPM). Although at least one QTL acts by enhancing the expression of the ?-zein proteins, we could surprisingly achieve rebalancing of the Lys content and a vitreous kernel phenotype by targeting suppression of ?-zeins without the o2 mutant. Reduced levels of ?-zeins were achieved with RNA interference (RNAi). Another transgenic event, PE5 expresses the Escherichia coli enzyme 3'-phosphoadenosine-5'-phosphosulfate reductase involved in sulfate assimilation, specifically in leaves. The stacked transgenic events produce a vitreous endosperm, which has higher Lys level than the classical opaque W64Ao2 variant. Moreover, due to the increased sulfate reduction in the leaf, Met level is elevated in the seed. Such a combination of transgenes produces hybrid seeds superior to classical QPMs that would neither require a costly feed mix nor synthetic Met supplementation, potentially creating a novel and cost-effective means for improving maize nutritional quality.
Project description:Kernel weight and size are important components of grain yield in cereals. Although some information is available concerning the map positions of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for kernel weight and size in maize, little is known about the molecular mechanisms of these QTLs. qGW4.05 is a major QTL that is associated with kernel weight and size in maize. We combined linkage analysis and association mapping to fine-map and identify candidate gene(s) at qGW4.05.QTL qGW4.05 was fine-mapped to a 279.6-kb interval in a segregating population derived from a cross of Huangzaosi with LV28. By combining the results of regional association mapping and linkage analysis, we identified GRMZM2G039934 as a candidate gene responsible for qGW4.05. Candidate gene-based association mapping was conducted using a panel of 184 inbred lines with variable kernel weights and kernel sizes. Six polymorphic sites in the gene GRMZM2G039934 were significantly associated with kernel weight and kernel size.The results of linkage analysis and association mapping revealed that GRMZM2G039934 is the most likely candidate gene for qGW4.05. These results will improve our understanding of the genetic architecture and molecular mechanisms underlying kernel development in maize.
Project description:Plants produce a variety of metabolites that have a critical role in growth and development. Here we present a comprehensive study of maize metabolism, combining genetic, metabolite and expression profiling methodologies to dissect the genetic basis of metabolic diversity in maize kernels. We quantify 983 metabolite features in 702 maize genotypes planted at multiple locations. We identify 1,459 significant locus-trait associations (P?1.8 × 10(-6)) across three environments through metabolite-based genome-wide association mapping. Most (58.5%) of the identified loci are supported by expression QTLs, and some (14.7%) are validated through linkage mapping. Re-sequencing and candidate gene association analysis identifies potential causal variants for five candidate genes involved in metabolic traits. Two of these genes were further validated by mutant and transgenic analysis. Metabolite features associated with kernel weight could be used as biomarkers to facilitate genetic improvement of maize.
Project description:The recessive opaque-2 mutant gene (o2) reduces ?-zeins accumulation in maize endosperm, changes the amino acid composition of maize kernels, induces an opaque endosperm, and increases the lysine content of kernels. The quality protein maize (QPM) inbred line CA339 (o2o2) and an elite normal inbred line liao2345 (O2O2) were used to construct o2 near-isogenic lines (NILs) by marker-assisted selection (MAS) using the co-dominant SSR marker phi057. Two specific o2 NILs were constructed, named liao2345/o2-1 and liao2345/o2-2. However, the kernel phenotypes of the two o2 NILs were different from each other. liao2345/o2-1 had the wild-type vitreous endosperm, which is similar to its recurrent parent liao2345, while the endosperm of liao2345/o2-2 was opaque, identical to typical o2 mutant individuals. In comparison to their recurrent parent liao2345, the lysine concentration of liao2345/o2-1 was similar and the lysine concentration in liao2345/o2-2 was doubled. SDS-PAGE analysis indicated that liao2345/o2-1 had the same zeins ratio as liao2345, whereas the zeins concentration of liao2345/o2-2 was markedly lower. Sequence and transcript abundance analyses indicated that the CDS of two o2 NILs are derived from CA339, but they have different promoters. The O2 transcript of liao2345/o2-2 is largely inhibited because of an rbg transposable element inserted between the TATA box and initiator codon of liao2345/o2-2. We concluded that different crossing-over patterns during the process of o2 NIL construction resulted in the different kernel phenotypes of the two o2 NILs. We surmise that the reversion of liao2345/o2-1 to wild type was due to the recombination with the wild type liao2345 promoter during introgression and backcrossing. The o2 mutant gene of donor (CA339) is a null mutant because of low O2 expression. However, its CDS probably encodes a protein with normal function which can maintain the normal accumulation of zeins in maize endosperm.
Project description:Mutation of o2 doubles maize endosperm lysine content, but it causes an inferior kernel phenotype. Developing quality protein maize (QPM) by introgressing o2 modifiers (Mo2s) into the o2 mutant benefits millions of people in developing countries where maize is a primary protein source. Here, we report genome sequence and annotation of a South African QPM line K0326Y, which is assembled from single-molecule, real-time shotgun sequencing reads collinear with an optical map. We achieve a N50 contig length of 7.7 million bases (Mb) directly from long-read assembly, compared to those of 1.04?Mb for B73 and 1.48?Mb for Mo17. To characterize Mo2s, we map QTLs to chromosomes 1, 6, 7, and 9 using an F2 population derived from crossing K0326Y and W64Ao2. RNA-seq analysis of QPM and o2 endosperms reveals a group of differentially expressed genes that coincide with Mo2 QTLs, suggesting a potential role in vitreous endosperm formation.
Project description:In pursuing our long-term goals of identifying causal genes for mutant phenotypes in maize, we have developed a new, phenotype-to-genotype approach for transposon-based resources, and used this to identify candidate genes that co-segregate with visible kernel mutants. The strategy incorporates a redesigned Mu-seq protocol (sequence-based, transposon mapping) for high-throughput identification of individual plants carrying Mu insertions. Forward-genetic Mu-seq also involves a genetic pipeline for generating families that segregate for mutants of interest, and grid designs for concurrent analysis of genotypes in multiple families. Critically, this approach not only eliminates gene-specific PCR genotyping, but also profiles all Mu-insertions in hundreds of individuals simultaneously. Here, we employ this scalable approach to study 12 families that showed Mendelian segregation of visible seed mutants. These families were analyzed in parallel, and 7 showed clear co-segregation between the selected phenotype and a Mu insertion in a specific gene. Results were confirmed by PCR. Mutant genes that associated with kernel phenotypes include those encoding: a new allele of Whirly1 (a transcription factor with high affinity for organellar and single-stranded DNA), a predicted splicing factor with a KH domain, a small protein with unknown function, a putative mitochondrial transcription-termination factor, and three proteins with pentatricopeptide repeat domains (predicted mitochondrial). Identification of such associations allows mutants to be prioritized for subsequent research based on their functional annotations. Forward-genetic Mu-seq also allows a systematic dissection of mutant classes with similar phenotypes. In the present work, a high proportion of kernel phenotypes were associated with mutations affecting organellar gene transcription and processing, highlighting the importance and non-redundance of genes controlling these aspects of seed development.
Project description:Yield improvement is a top priority for maize breeding. Kernel size and weight are important determinants of maize grain yield. In this study, a recombinant inbred line (RIL) population and an association panel were used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for four maize kernel-related traits: kernel length, width, thickness and 100-kernel weight. Twenty-seven QTLs were identified for kernel-related traits across three environments and the best linear unbiased predictions (BLUPs) of each trait by linkage analysis, and four QTLs were stably detected in more than two environments. Additionally, 29 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified as significantly associated with the four kernel-related traits and BLUPs by genome-wide association study, and two loci could be stably detected in both environments. In total, four QTLs/SNPs were co-associated with various traits in both populations. Using combined-linkage analysis and association mapping, PZE-101066560 on chromosome 1, associated with kernel width and with 100-kernel weight in the association panel, was co-localized within the QTL interval of <i>qKW1-3</i> for kernel width in the RILs. Two annotated genes in the candidate region were considered as potential candidate genes. The QTLs and candidate genes identified here will facilitate molecular breeding for grain yield improvement in maize.