The genetic basis of drought tolerance in the high oil crop Sesamum indicum.
ABSTRACT: Unlike most of the important food crops, sesame can survive drought but severe and repeated drought episodes, especially occurring during the reproductive stage, significantly curtail the productivity of this high oil crop. Genome-wide association study was conducted for traits related to drought tolerance using 400 diverse sesame accessions, including landraces and modern cultivars. Ten stable QTLs explaining more than 40% of the phenotypic variation and located on four linkage groups were significantly associated with drought tolerance related traits. Accessions from the tropical area harboured higher numbers of drought tolerance alleles at the peak loci and were found to be more tolerant than those from the northern area, indicating a long-term genetic adaptation to drought-prone environments. We found that sesame has already fixed important alleles conferring survival to drought which may explain its relative high drought tolerance. However, most of the alleles crucial for productivity and yield maintenance under drought conditions are far from been fixed. This study also revealed that pyramiding the favourable alleles observed at the peak loci is of high potential for enhancing drought tolerance in sesame. In addition, our results highlighted two important pleiotropic QTLs harbouring known and unreported drought tolerance genes such as SiABI4, SiTTM3, SiGOLS1, SiNIMIN1 and SiSAM. By integrating candidate gene association study, gene expression and transgenic experiments, we demonstrated that SiSAM confers drought tolerance by modulating polyamine levels and ROS homeostasis, and a missense mutation in the coding region partly contributes to the natural variation of drought tolerance in sesame.
Project description:Drought is one of the most important abiotic stresses that impair sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) productivity mainly when it occurs at flowering stage. However up to now, very few studies have attempted to investigate the molecular responses of sesame to drought stress. In this experiment, two genotypes having contrasting responses to drought (tolerant and sensitive) were submitted to progressive drought followed by recovering stage at flowering stage. RNAs were isolated from roots of plants before drought stress, at 3-time points during progressive drought, after rewatering, and sequenced using Illumina HiSeq 4000 platform. These RNA-Seq resources (BioSample IDs: SAMN06130606 and SAMN06130607) provided an opportunity to elucidate the molecular responses of sesame to drought and find out some candidate genes for drought tolerance improvement.
Project description:Sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) is one of the oldest oilseed crops widely grown in Africa and Asia for its high-quality nutritional seeds. It is well adapted to harsh environments and constitutes an alternative cash crop for smallholders in developing countries. Despite its economic and nutritional importance, sesame is considered as an orphan crop because it has received very little attention from science. As a consequence, it lags behind the other major oil crops as far as genetic improvement is concerned. In recent years, the scenario has considerably changed with the decoding of the sesame nuclear genome leading to the development of various genomic resources including molecular markers, comprehensive genetic maps, high-quality transcriptome assemblies, web-based functional databases and diverse daft genome sequences. The availability of these tools in association with the discovery of candidate genes and quantitative trait locis for key agronomic traits including high oil content and quality, waterlogging and drought tolerance, disease resistance, cytoplasmic male sterility, high yield, pave the way to the development of some new strategies for sesame genetic improvement. As a result, sesame has graduated from an "orphan crop" to a "genomic resource-rich crop." With the limited research teams working on sesame worldwide, more synergic efforts are needed to integrate these resources in sesame breeding for productivity upsurge, ensuring food security and improved livelihood in developing countries. This review retraces the evolution of sesame research by highlighting the recent advances in the "Omics" area and also critically discusses the future prospects for a further genetic improvement and a better expansion of this crop.
Project description:Sesame is an important ancient oilseed crop of high medicinal value. In the present study, 37 characters including both quantitative and qualitative traits of sixty genotypes were characterized following IPGRI morphological descriptors for sesame. Multivariate analysis was computed to distinguish the varieties into different groups. Though thirty six microsatellite markers including genomic and Est-SSR markers were initially selected, but, finally, the accessions were genotyped by eight polymorphic primers. Altogether, 27 alleles were detected among the 60 genotypes, with an average of 3.37 alleles per locus. The number of alleles ranged from 2 to 6 alleles. From data of microsatellite markers, dissimilarity coefficients between varieties were computed following Jaccard's coefficient method. Principal co-ordinate analysis was used to represent the varieties in bi-directional space. Dendrogram was constructed using NJ method based on dissimilarity matrix. Cluster analysis based on morphological and molecular marker classified sesame genotypes into two major groups. Mantel test showed an insignificant correlation between phenotypic and molecular marker information. The genotypes belonging to the same geographical area did not always occupy the same cluster. The results confirmed that both genetic and phenotypic diversity in a combined way could efficiently evaluate the variation present in different sesame accessions in any breeding program.
Project description:Sesame has great potential as an industrial crop but its production is challenged by drought and salt stresses. To unravel the genetic variants leading to salinity and drought tolerances at the germination stage, genome-wide association studies of stress tolerance indexes related to NaCl-salt and polyethylene glycol-drought induced stresses were performed with a diversity panel of 490 sesame accessions. An extensive variation was observed for drought and salt responses in the population and most of the accessions were moderately tolerant to both stresses. A total of 132 and 120 significant Single Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) resolved to nine and 15 Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were detected for drought and salt stresses, respectively. Only two common QTLs for drought and salt responses were found located on linkage groups 5 and 7, respectively. This indicates that the genetic bases for drought and salt responses in sesame are different. A total of 13 and 27 potential candidate genes were uncovered for drought and salt tolerance indexes, respectively, encoding transcription factors, antioxidative enzymes, osmoprotectants and involved in hormonal biosynthesis, signal transduction or ion sequestration. The identified SNPs and potential candidate genes represent valuable resources for future functional characterization towards the enhancement of sesame cultivars for drought and salt tolerances.
Project description:Seed coat color is an important agronomic trait in sesame, as it is associated with seed biochemical properties, antioxidant content and activity and even disease resistance of sesame. Here, using a high-density linkage map, we analyzed genetic segregation and quantitative trait loci (QTL) for sesame seed coat color in six generations (P1, P2, F1, BC1, BC2 and F2). Results showed that two major genes with additive-dominant-epistatic effects and polygenes with additive-dominant-epistatic effects were responsible for controlling the seed coat color trait. Average heritability of the major genes in the BC1, BC2 and F2 populations was 89.30%, 24.00%, and 91.11% respectively, while the heritability of polygenes was low in the BC1 (5.43%), in BC2 (0.00%) and in F2 (0.89%) populations. A high-density map was constructed using 724 polymorphic markers. 653 SSR, AFLP and RSAMPL loci were anchored in 14 linkage groups (LG) spanning a total of 1,216.00 cM. The average length of each LG was 86.86 cM and the marker density was 1.86 cM per marker interval. Four QTLs for seed coat color, QTL1-1, QTL11-1, QTL11-2 and QTL13-1, whose heritability ranged from 59.33%-69.89%, were detected in F3 populations using CIM and MCIM methods. Alleles at all QTLs from the black-seeded parent tended to increase the seed coat color. Results from QTLs mapping and classical genetic analysis among the P1, P2, F1, BC1, BC2 and F2 populations were comparatively consistent. This first QTL analysis and high-density genetic linkage map for sesame provided a good foundation for further research on sesame genetics and molecular marker-assisted selection (MAS).
Project description:BACKGROUND: Sesame is an important and ancient oil crop in tropical and subtropical areas. China is one of the most important sesame producing countries with many germplasm accessions and excellent cultivars. Domestication and modern plant breeding have presumably narrowed the genetic basis of cultivated sesame. Several modern sesame cultivars were bred with a limited number of landrace cultivars in their pedigree. The genetic variation was subsequently reduced by genetic drift and selection. Characterization of genetic diversity of these cultivars by molecular markers is of great value to assist parental line selection and breeding strategy design. RESULTS: Three hundred and forty nine simple sequence repeat (SSR) and 79 insertion-deletion (InDel) markers were developed from cDNA library and reduced-representation sequencing of a sesame cultivar Zhongzhi 14, respectively. Combined with previously published SSR markers, 88 polymorphic markers were used to assess the genetic diversity, phylogenetic relationships, population structure, and allele distribution among 130 Chinese sesame accessions including 82 cultivars, 44 landraces and 4 wild germplasm accessions. A total of 325 alleles were detected, with the average gene diversity of 0.432. Model-based structure analysis revealed the presence of five subgroups belonging to two main groups, which were consistent with the results from principal coordinate analysis (PCA), phylogenetic clustering and analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA). Several missing or unique alleles were identified from particular types, subgroups or families, even though they share one or both parental/progenitor lines. CONCLUSIONS: This report presented a by far most comprehensive characterization of the molecular and genetic diversity of sesame cultivars in China. InDels are more polymorphic than SSRs, but their ability for deciphering genetic diversity compared to the later. Improved sesame cultivars have narrower genetic basis than landraces, reflecting the effect of genetic drift or selection during breeding processes. Comparative analysis of allele distribution revealed genetic divergence between improved cultivars and landraces, as well as between cultivars released in different years. These results will be useful for assessing cultivars and for marker-assisted breeding in sesame.
Project description:Sesame (Sesamum indicum), an important oil crop, is widely grown in tropical and subtropical regions. It provides part of the daily edible oil allowance for almost half of the world's population. A limited number of co-dominant markers has been developed and applied in sesame genetic diversity and germplasm identity studies. Here we report for the first time a whole genome survey used to develop simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and to detect the genetic diversity of sesame germplasm. From the initial assembled sesame genome, 23,438 SSRs (?5 repeats) were identified. The most common repeat motif was dinucleotide with a frequency of 84.24%, followed by 13.53% trinucleotide, 1.65% tetranucleotide, 0.3% pentanucleotide and 0.28% hexanucleotide motifs. From 1500 designed and synthesised primer pairs, 218 polymorphic SSRs were developed and used to screen 31 sesame accessions that from 12 countries. STRUCTURE and phylogenetic analyses indicated that all sesame accessions could be divided into two groups: one mainly from China and another from other countries. Cluster analysis classified Chinese major sesame varieties into three groups. These novel SSR markers are a useful tool for genetic linkage map construction, genetic diversity detection, and marker-assisted selective sesame breeding.
Project description:The development and validation of different types of molecular markers is crucial to conducting marker-assisted sesame breeding. Insertion-deletion (InDel) markers are highly polymorphic and suitable for low-cost gel-based genotyping. From this perspective, this study aimed to discover and develop InDel markers through bioinformatic analysis of double digest restriction site-associated DNA sequencing (ddRADSeq) data from 95 accessions belonging to the Mediterranean sesame core collection. Bioinformatic analysis indicated the presence of 7477 InDel positions genome wide. Deletions accounted for 61% of the InDels and short deletions (1-2 bp) were the most abundant type (94.9%). On average, InDels of at least 2 bp in length had a frequency of 2.99 InDels/Mb. The 86 InDel sites having length ?8 bp were detected in genome-wide analysis. These regions can be used for the development of InDel markers considering low-cost genotyping with agarose gels. In order to validate these InDels, a total of 38 InDel regions were selected and primers were successfully amplified. About 13% of these InDels were in the coding sequences (CDSs) and in the 3'- and 5'- untranslated regions (UTRs). Furthermore, the efficiencies of these 16 InDel markers were assessed on 32 sesame accessions. The polymorphic information content (PIC) of these 16 markers ranged from 0.06 to 0.62 (average: 0.33). These results demonstrated the success of InDel identification and marker development for sesame with the use of ddRADSeq data. These agarose-resolvable InDel markers are expected to be useful for sesame breeders.
Project description:Sesame is poised to become a major oilseed crop owing to its high oil quality and adaptation to various ecological areas. However, the seed yield of sesame is very low and the underlying genetic basis is still elusive. Here, we performed genome-wide association studies of 39 seed yield-related traits categorized into five major trait groups, in three different environments, using 705 diverse lines. Extensive variation was observed for the traits with capsule size, capsule number and seed size-related traits, found to be highly correlated with seed yield indexes. In total, 646 loci were significantly associated with the 39 traits (p < 10-7) and resolved to 547 quantitative trait loci QTLs. We identified six multi-environment QTLs and 76 pleiotropic QTLs associated with two to five different traits. By analyzing the candidate genes for the assayed traits, we retrieved 48 potential genes containing significant functional loci. Several homologs of these candidate genes in Arabidopsis are described to be involved in seed or biomass formation. However, we also identified novel candidate genes, such as SiLPT3 and SiACS8, which may control capsule length and capsule number traits. Altogether, we provided the highly-anticipated basis for research on genetics and functional genomics towards seed yield improvement in sesame.
Project description:Sesame is a source of a healthy vegetable oil, attracting a growing interest worldwide. Abiotic stresses have devastating effects on sesame yield; hence, studies have been performed to understand sesame molecular responses to abiotic stresses, but the core abiotic stress-responsive genes (CARG) that the plant reuses in response to an array of environmental stresses are unknown. We performed a meta-analysis of 72 RNA-Seq datasets from drought, waterlogging, salt and osmotic stresses and identified 543 genes constantly and differentially expressed in response to all stresses, representing the sesame CARG. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis of the CARG revealed three functional modules controlled by key transcription factors. Except for salt stress, the modules were positively correlated with the abiotic stresses. Network topology of the modules showed several hub genes predicted to play prominent functions. As proof of concept, we generated over-expressing Arabidopsis lines with hub and non-hub genes. Transgenic plants performed better under drought, waterlogging, and osmotic stresses than the wild-type plants but did not tolerate the salt treatment. As expected, the hub gene was significantly more potent than the non-hub gene. Overall, we discovered several novel candidate genes, which will fuel investigations on plant responses to multiple abiotic stresses.