Different copies of SENSITIVITY TO RED LIGHT REDUCED 1 show strong subfunctionalization in Brassica napus.
ABSTRACT: 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:Genetic models for polyploid crop adaptation provide important information relevant for future breeding prospects. A well-suited model is Brassica napus, a recent allopolyploid closely related to Arabidopsis thaliana. Flowering time is a major adaptation trait determining life cycle synchronization with the environment. Here we unravel natural genetic variation in B. napus flowering time regulators and investigate associations with evolutionary diversification into different life cycle morphotypes. Deep sequencing of 35 flowering regulators was performed in 280 diverse B. napus genotypes. High sequencing depth enabled high-quality calling of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs), insertion-deletions (InDels) and copy number variants (CNVs). By combining these data with genotyping data from the Brassica 60?K Illumina® Infinium SNP array, we performed a genome-wide marker distribution analysis across the 4 ecogeographical morphotypes. Twelve haplotypes, including Bna.FLC.A10, Bna.VIN3.A02 and the Bna.FT promoter on C02_random, were diagnostic for the diversification of winter and spring types. The subspecies split between oilseed/kale (B. napus ssp. napus) and swedes/rutabagas (B. napus ssp. napobrassica) was defined by 13 haplotypes, including genomic rearrangements encompassing copies of Bna.FLC, Bna.PHYA and Bna.GA3ox1. De novo variation in copies of important flowering-time genes in B. napus arose during allopolyploidisation, enabling sub-functionalisation that allowed different morphotypes to appropriately fine-tune their lifecycle.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Strong artificial and natural selection causes the formation of highly conserved haplotypes that harbor agronomically important genes. GWAS combination with haplotype analysis has evolved as an effective method to dissect the genetic architecture of complex traits in crop species. RESULTS:We used the 60?K Brassica Infinium SNP array to perform a genome-wide analysis of haplotype blocks associated with oleic acid (C18:1) in rapeseed. Six haplotype regions were identified as significantly associated with oleic acid (C18:1) that mapped to chromosomes A02, A07, A08, C01, C02, and C03. Additionally, whole-genome sequencing of 50 rapeseed accessions revealed three genes (BnmtACP2-A02, BnABCI13-A02 and BnECI1-A02) in the A02 chromosome haplotype region and two genes (BnFAD8-C02 and BnSDP1-C02) in the C02 chromosome haplotype region that were closely linked to oleic acid content phenotypic variation. Moreover, the co-expression network analysis uncovered candidate genes from these two different haplotype regions with potential regulatory interrelationships with oleic acid content accumulation. CONCLUSIONS:Our results suggest that several candidate genes are closely linked, which provides us with an opportunity to develop functional haplotype markers for the improvement of the oleic acid content in rapeseed.
Project description:Brassica napus L. is a widely cultivated oil crop and provides important resources of edible vegetable oil, and its quality is determined by fatty acid composition and content. To explain the genetic basis and identify more minor loci for fatty acid content, the multi-locus random-SNP-effect mixed linear model (mrMLM) was used to identify genomic regions associated with fatty acid content in a genetically diverse population of 435 rapeseed accessions, including 77 winter-type, 55 spring-type, and 303 semi-winter-type accessions grown in different environments. A total of 149 quantitative trait nucleotides (QTNs) were found to be associated with fatty acid content and composition, including 34 QTNs that overlapped with the previously reported loci, and 115 novel QTNs. Of these, 35 novel QTNs, located on chromosome A01, A02, A03, A05, A06, A09, A10, and C02, respectively, were repeatedly detected across different environments. Subsequently, we annotated 95 putative candidate genes by BlastP analysis using sequences from Arabidopsis thaliana homologs of the identified regions. The candidate genes included 34 environmentally-insensitive genes (e.g., CER4, DGK2, KCS17, KCS18, MYB4, and TT16) and 61 environment-sensitive genes (e.g., FAB1, FAD6, FAD7, KCR1, KCS9, KCS12, and TT1) as well as genes invloved in the fatty acid biosynthesis. Among these, BnaA08g08280D and BnaC03g60080D differed in genomic sequence between the high- and low-oleic acid lines, and might thus be the novel alleles regulating oleic acid content. Furthermore, RT-qPCR analysis of these genes showed differential expression levels during seed development. Our results highlight the practical and scientific value of mrMLM or QTN detection and the accuracy of linking specific QTNs to fatty acid content, and suggest a useful strategy to improve the fatty acid content of B. napus seeds by molecular marker-assisted breeding.
Project description: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:Flowering time genes have a strong influence on successful reproduction and life cycle adaptation. However, their regulation is highly complex and only well understood in diploid model systems. For crops with a polyploid background from the genus Brassica, data on flowering time gene variation are scarce, although indispensable for modern breeding techniques like marker-assisted breeding. We have deep-sequenced all paralogs of 35 Arabidopsis thaliana flowering regulators using Sequence Capture followed by Illumina sequencing in two selected accessions of the vegetable species Brassica rapa and Brassica oleracea, respectively. Using these data, we were able to call SNPs, InDels and copy number variations (CNVs) for genes from the total flowering time network including central flowering regulators, but also genes from the vernalisation pathway, the photoperiod pathway, temperature regulation, the circadian clock and the downstream effectors. Comparing the results to a complementary data set from the allotetraploid species Brassica napus, we detected rearrangements in B. napus which probably occurred early after the allopolyploidisation event. Those data are both a valuable resource for flowering time research in those vegetable species, as well as a contribution to speciation genetics.
Project description:The gene FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and its orthologues play a central role in the integration of flowering signals within Arabidopsis and other diverse species. Multiple copies of FT, with different cis-intronic sequence, exist and appear to operate harmoniously within polyploid crop species such as Brassica napus (AACC), a member of the same plant family as Arabidopsis.We have identified six BnFT paralogues from the genome of B. napus and mapped them to six distinct regions, each of which is homologous to a common ancestral block (E) of Arabidopsis chromosome 1. Four of the six regions were present within inverted duplicated regions of chromosomes A7 and C6. The coding sequences of BnFT paralogues showed 92-99% identities to each other and 85-87% identity with that of Arabidopsis. However, two of the paralogues on chromosomes A2 and C2, BnA2.FT and BnC2.FT, were found to lack the distinctive CArG box that is located within intron 1 that has been shown in Arabidopsis to be the binding site for theFLC protein. Three BnFT paralogues (BnA2.FT, BnC6.FT.a and BnC6.FT.b) were associated with two major QTL clusters for flowering time. One of the QTLs encompassing two BnFT paralogues (BnC6.FT.a and BnC6.FT.b) on chromosome C6 was resolved further using near isogenic lines, specific alleles of which were both shown to promote flowering. Association analysis of the three BnFT paralogues across 55 cultivars of B. napus showed that the alleles detected in the original parents of the mapping population used to detect QTL (NY7 and Tapidor) were ubiquitous amongst spring and winter type cultivars of rapeseed. It was inferred that the ancestral FT homologues in Brassica evolved from two distinct copies, one of which was duplicated along with inversion of the associated chromosomal segment prior to the divergence of B. rapa (AA) and B. oleracea (CC). At least ten such inverted duplicated blocks (IDBs) were identified covering a quarter of the whole B. napus genome.Six orthologues of Arabidopsis FT were identified and mapped in the genome of B. napus which sheds new light on the evolution of paralogues in polyploidy species. The allelic variation of BnFT paralogues results in functional differences affecting flowering time between winter and spring type cultivars of oil seed Brassica. The prevalent inverted duplicated blocks, two of which were located by four of the six BnFT paralogues, contributed to gene duplications and might represent predominant pathway of evolution in Brassica.
Project description:Key message "We identified both quantitative and quantitative resistance loci to Leptosphaeria maculans, a fungal pathogen, causing blackleg disease in canola. Several genome-wide significant associations were detected at known and new loci for blackleg resistance. We further validated statistically significant associations in four genetic mapping populations, demonstrating that GWAS marker loci are indeed associated with resistance to L. maculans. One of the novel loci identified for the first time, Rlm12, conveys adult plant resistance in canola." Blackleg, caused by Leptosphaeria maculans, is a significant disease which affects the sustainable production of canola (Brassica napus). This study reports a genome-wide association study based on 18,804 polymorphic SNPs to identify loci associated with qualitative and quantitative resistance to L. maculans. Genomic regions delimited with 694 significant SNP markers, that are associated with resistance evaluated using 12 single spore isolates and pathotypes from four canola stubble were identified. Several significant associations were detected at known disease resistance loci including in the vicinity of recently cloned Rlm2/LepR3 genes, and at new loci on chromosomes A01/C01, A02/C02, A03/C03, A05/C05, A06, A08, and A09. In addition, we validated statistically significant associations on A01, A07, and A10 in four genetic mapping populations, demonstrating that GWAS marker loci are indeed associated with resistance to L. maculans. One of the novel loci identified for the first time, Rlm12, conveys adult plant resistance and mapped within 13.2 kb from Arabidopsis R gene of TIR-NBS class. We showed that resistance loci are located in the vicinity of R genes of Arabidopsis thaliana and Brassica napus on the sequenced genome of B. napus cv. Darmor-bzh. Significantly associated SNP markers provide a valuable tool to enrich germplasm for favorable alleles in order to improve the level of resistance to L. maculans in canola.
Project description:Gene copy number variation (CNV) is increasingly implicated in control of complex trait networks, particularly in polyploid plants like rapeseed (Brassica napus L.) with an evolutionary history of genome restructuring. Here we performed sequence capture to assay nucleotide variation and CNV in a panel of central flowering time regulatory genes across a species-wide diversity set of 280 B. napus accessions. The genes were chosen based on prior knowledge from Arabidopsis thaliana and related Brassica species. Target enrichment was performed using the Agilent SureSelect technology, followed by Illumina sequencing. A bait (probe) pool was developed based on results of a preliminary experiment with representatives from different B. napus morphotypes. A very high mean target coverage of ~670x allowed reliable calling of CNV, single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and insertion-deletion (InDel) polymorphisms. No accession exhibited no CNV, and at least one homolog of every gene we investigated showed CNV in some accessions. Some CNV appear more often in specific morphotypes, indicating a role in diversification.
Project description:Allelic variation at the FRIGIDA (FRI) locus is a major contributor to natural variation of flowering time and vernalization requirement in Arabidopsis thaliana. Dominant FRI inhibits flowering by activating the expression of the MADS box transcriptional repressor FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC), which represses flowering prior to vernalization. Four FRI orthologues had been identified in the domesticated amphidiploid Brassica napus. Linkage and association studies had revealed that one of the FRI orthologues, BnaA3.FRI, contributes to flowering time variation and crop type differentiation.Sequence analyses indicated that three out of the four BnaFRI paralogues, BnaA3.FRI, BnaA10.FRI and BnaC3.FRI, contained a large number of polymorphic sites. Haplotype analysis in a panel of 174 B. napus accessions using PCR markers showed that all the three paralogues had a biased distribution of haplotypes in winter type oilseed rape (P < 0.01). Association analysis indicated that only BnaA3.FRI contributes to flowering time variation in B. napus. In addition, transgenic functional complementation demonstrated that mutations in the coding sequence of BnaA3.FRI lead to weak alleles, and subsequently to flowering time variation.This study for the first time provides a molecular basis for flowering time control by BnaA3.FRI in B. napus, and will facilitate predictive oilseed rape breeding to select varieties with favorable flowering time and better adaption to latitude and seasonal shifts due to changing climate.
Project description:Flowering, the transition from the vegetative to the generative phase, is a decisive time point in the lifecycle of a plant. Flowering is controlled by a complex network of transcription factors, photoreceptors, enzymes and miRNAs. In recent years, several studies gave rise to the hypothesis that this network is also strongly involved in the regulation of other important lifecycle processes ranging from germination and seed development through to fundamental developmental and yield-related traits. In the allopolyploid crop species Brassica napus, (genome AACC), homoeologous copies of flowering time regulatory genes are implicated in major phenological variation within the species, however the extent and control of intraspecific and intergenomic variation among flowering-time regulators is still unclear. To investigate differences among B. napus morphotypes in relation to flowering-time gene variation, we performed targeted deep sequencing of 29 regulatory flowering-time genes in four genetically and phenologically diverse B. napus accessions. The genotype panel included a winter-type oilseed rape, a winter fodder rape, a spring-type oilseed rape (all B. napus ssp. napus) and a swede (B. napus ssp. napobrassica), which show extreme differences in winter-hardiness, vernalization requirement and flowering behavior. A broad range of genetic variation was detected in the targeted genes for the different morphotypes, including non-synonymous SNPs, copy number variation and presence-absence variation. The results suggest that this broad variation in vernalization, clock and signaling genes could be a key driver of morphological differentiation for flowering-related traits in this recent allopolyploid crop species.