Discerning combining ability loci for divergent environments using chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) in pearl millet.
ABSTRACT: Pearl millet is an important crop for arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Genomic regions associated with combining ability for yield-related traits under irrigated and drought conditions are useful in heterosis breeding programs. Chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) are excellent genetic resources for precise QTL mapping and identifying naturally occurring favorable alleles. In the present study, testcross hybrid populations of 85 CSSLs were evaluated for 15 grain and stover yield-related traits for summer and wet seasons under irrigated control (CN) and moisture stress (MS) conditions. General combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) effects of all these traits were estimated and significant marker loci linked to GCA and SCA of the traits were identified. Heritability of the traits ranged from 53-94% in CN and 63-94% in MS. A total of 40 significant GCA loci and 36 significant SCA loci were identified for 14 different traits. Five QTLs (flowering time, panicle number and panicle yield linked to Xpsmp716 on LG4, flowering time and grain number per panicle with Xpsmp2076 on LG4) simultaneously controlled both GCA and SCA, demonstrating their unique genetic basis and usefulness for hybrid breeding programs. This study for the first time demonstrated the potential of a set of CSSLs for trait mapping in pearl millet. The novel combining ability loci linked with GCA and SCA values of the traits identified in this study may be useful in pearl millet hybrid and population improvement programs using marker-assisted selection (MAS).
Project description:Combining ability is a measure for selecting elite parents and predicting hybrid performance in plant breeding. However, the genetic basis of combining ability remains unclear and a global view of combining ability from diverse mating designs is lacking. We developed a North Carolina II (NCII) population of 96 Oryza sativa and four male sterile lines to identify parents of greatest value for hybrid rice production. Statistical analyses indicated that general combining ability (GCA) and specific combining ability (SCA) contributed variously to different agronomic traits. In a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of agronomic traits, GCA and SCA, we identified 34 significant associations (P < 2.39 × 10<sup>-7</sup> ). The superior alleles of GCA loci (Ghd8, GS3 and qSSR4) accumulated in parental lines with high GCA and explained 30.03% of GCA variance in grain yield, indicating that molecular breeding of high GCA parental lines is feasible. The distinct distributions of these QTLs contributed to the differentiation of parental GCA in subpopulations. GWAS of SCA identified 12 more loci that showed dominance on corresponding agronomic traits. We conclude that the accumulation of superior GCA and SCA alleles is an important contributor to heterosis and QTLs that greatly contributed to combining ability in our study would accelerate the identification of elite inbred lines and breeding of super hybrids.
Project description:Pearl millet is a staple food crop for millions of people living in the arid and semi-arid tropics. Molecular markers have been used to identify genomic regions linked to traits of interest by conventional QTL mapping and association analysis. Phenotypic recurrent selection is known to increase frequencies of favorable alleles and decrease those unfavorable for the traits under selection. This study was undertaken (i) to quantify the response to recurrent selection for phenotypic traits during breeding of the pearl millet open-pollinated cultivar "CO (Cu) 9" and its four immediate progenitor populations and (ii) to assess the ability of simple sequence repeat (SSR) marker alleles to identify genomic regions linked to grain and stover yield-related traits in these populations by association analysis. A total of 159 SSR alleles were detected across 34 selected single-copy SSR loci. SSR marker data revealed presence of subpopulations. Association analysis identified genomic regions associated with flowering time located on linkage group (LG) 6 and plant height on LG4, LG6, and LG7. Marker alleles on LG6 were associated with stover yield, and those on LG7 were associated with grain yield. Findings of this study would give an opportunity to develop marker-assisted recurrent selection (MARS) or marker-assisted population improvement (MAPI) strategies to increase the rate of gain for pearl millet populations undergoing recurrent selection.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The distribution area of pearl millet in West and Central Africa (WCA) harbours a wide range of climatic and environmental conditions as well as diverse farmer preferences and pearl millet utilization habits which have the potential to lead to local adaptation and thereby to population structure. The objectives of our research were to (i) assess the geographical distribution of genetic diversity in pearl millet inbreds derived from landraces, (ii) assess the population structure of pearl millet from WCA, and (iii) identify those geographical parameters and environmental factors from the location at which landraces were sampled, as well as those phenotypic traits that may have affected or led to this population structure. Our study was based on a set of 145 inbred lines derived from 122 different pearl millet landraces from WCA. RESULTS: Five sub-groups were detected within the entire germplasm set by STRUCTURE. We observed that the phenotypic traits flowering time, relative response to photoperiod, and panicle length were significantly associated with population structure but not the environmental factors which are expected to influence these traits in natural populations such as latitude, temperature, or precipitation. CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggested that for pearl millet natural selection is compared to artificial selection less important in shaping populations.
Project description:Heterosis or hybrid vigor is closely related with general combing ability (GCA) of parents and special combining ability (SCA) of combinations. The evaluation of GCA and SCA facilitate selection of parents and combinations in heterosis breeding. In order to improve combining ability (CA) by molecular marker assist selection, it is necessary to identify marker loci associated with the CA. To identify the single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) loci associated with CA in the parental genomes of japonica rice, genome-wide discovered SNP loci were tested for association with the CA of 18 parents for 12 yield-related traits. In this study, 81 hybrids were created and evaluated to calculate the CA of 18 parents. The parents were sequenced by genotyping by sequencing (GBS) method for identification of genome-wide SNPs. The analysis of GBS indicated that the successful mapping of 9.86 × 106 short reads in the Nipponbare reference genome consists of 39,001 SNPs in parental genomes at 11,085 chromosomal positions. The discovered SNPs were non-randomly distributed within and among the 12 chromosomes of rice. Overall, 20.4% (8026) of the discovered SNPs were coding types, and 8.6% (3344) and 9.9% (3951) of the SNPs revealed synonymous and non-synonymous changes, which provide valuable knowledge about the underlying performance of the parents. Furthermore, the associations between SNPs and CA indicated that 362 SNP loci were significantly related to the CA of 12 parental traits. The identified SNP loci of CA in our study were distributed genome wide and caused a positive or negative effect on the CA of traits. For the yield-related traits, such as grain thickness, days to heading, panicle length, grain length and 1000-grain weight, a maximum number of positive SNP loci of CA were found in CMS A171 and in the restorers LC64 and LR27. On an individual basis, some of associated loci that resided on chromosomes 2, 5, 7, 9, and 11 recorded maximum positive values for the CA of traits. From our results, we suggest that heterosis in japonica rice would be improved by pyramiding the favorable SNP loci of CA and eliminating the unfavorable loci from parental genomes.
Project description:We constructed 128 chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs), derived from a cross between indica rice (Oryza sativa L.) 9311 and japonica rice Nipponbare, to investigate the genetic mechanism of heterosis. Three photo-thermo-sensitive-genic male sterile lines (Guangzhan63-4s, 036s, and Lian99s) were selected to cross with each CSSL to produce testcross populations (TCs). Field experiments were carried out in 2009, 2011, and 2015 to evaluate yield and yield-related traits in the CSSLs and TCs. Four traits (plant height, spikelet per panicle, thousand-grain weight, and grain yield per plant) were significantly related between CSSLs and TCs. In the TCs, plant height, panicle length, seed setting rate, thousand-grain weight, and grain yield per plant showed partial dominance, indicating that dominance largely contributes to heterosis of these five traits. While overdominance may be more important for heterosis of panicles per plant and spikelet per panicle. Based on the bin-maps of CSSLs and TCs, we detected 62 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) and 97 heterotic loci (HLs) using multiple linear regression analyses. Some of these loci were clustered together. The identification of QTLs and HLs for yield and yield-related traits provide useful information for hybrid rice breeding, and help to uncover the genetic basis of rice heterosis.
Project description:Maize plant height related traits including plant height, ear height, and internode number are tightly linked with biomass, planting density, and grain yield in the field. Previous studies have focused on understanding the genetic basis of plant architecture traits per se, but the genetic basis of combining ability remains poorly understood. In this study, 328 recombinant inbred lines were inter-group crossed with two testers to produce 656 hybrids using the North Carolina II mating design. Both of the parental lines and hybrids were evaluated in two summer maize-growing regions of China in 2015 and 2016. QTL mapping highlighted that 7 out of 16 QTL detected for RILs per se could be simultaneously detected for general combining ability (GCA) effects, suggesting that GCA effects and the traits were genetically controlled by different sets of loci. Among the 35 QTL identified for hybrid performance, 57.1% and 28.5% QTL overlapped with additive/GCA and non-additive/SCA effects, suggesting that the small percentage of hybrid variance due to SCA effects in our design. Two QTL hotspots, located on chromosomes 5 and 10 and including the qPH5-1 and qPH10 loci, were validated for plant height related traits by Ye478 derivatives. Notably, the qPH5-1 locus could simultaneously affect the RILs per se and GCA effects while the qPH10, a major QTL (PVE > 10%) with pleiotropic effects, only affected the GCA effects. These results provide evidence that more attention should be focused on loci that influence combining ability directly in maize hybrid breeding.
Project description:The productivity in sorghum is low, owing to various biotic and abiotic constraints. Combining insect resistance with desirable agronomic and morphological traits is important to increase sorghum productivity. Therefore, it is important to understand the variability for various agronomic traits, their heritabilities and nature of gene action to develop appropriate strategies for crop improvement. Therefore, a full diallel set of 10 parents and their 90 crosses including reciprocals were evaluated in replicated trials during the 2013-14 rainy and postrainy seasons. The crosses between the parents with early- and late-flowering flowered early, indicating dominance of earliness for anthesis in the test material used. Association between the shoot fly resistance, morphological, and agronomic traits suggested complex interactions between shoot fly resistance and morphological traits. Significance of the mean sum of squares for GCA (general combining ability) and SCA (specific combining ability) of all the studied traits suggested the importance of both additive and non-additive components in inheritance of these traits. The GCA/SCA, and the predictability ratios indicated predominance of additive gene effects for majority of the traits studied. High broad-sense and narrow-sense heritability estimates were observed for most of the morphological and agronomic traits. The significance of reciprocal combining ability effects for days to 50% flowering, plant height and 100 seed weight, suggested maternal effects for inheritance of these traits. Plant height and grain yield across seasons, days to 50% flowering, inflorescence exsertion, and panicle shape in the postrainy season showed greater specific combining ability variance, indicating the predominance of non-additive type of gene action/epistatic interactions in controlling the expression of these traits. Additive gene action in the rainy season, and dominance in the postrainy season for days to 50% flowering and plant height suggested G X E interactions for these traits.
Project description:Pearl millet plays an important role for food security in arid regions of Africa and India. Nevertheless, it is considered an orphan crop as it lags far behind other cereals in terms of genetic improvement efforts. Breeding pearl millet varieties with improved root traits promises to deliver benefits in water and nutrient acquisition. Here, we characterize early pearl millet root system development using several different root phenotyping approaches that include rhizotrons and microCT. We report that early stage pearl millet root system development is characterized by a fast growing primary root that quickly colonizes deeper soil horizons. We also describe root anatomical studies that revealed three distinct types of lateral roots that form on both primary roots and crown roots. Finally, we detected significant variation for two root architectural traits, primary root lenght and lateral root density, in pearl millet inbred lines. This study provides the basis for subsequent genetic experiments to identify loci associated with interesting early root development traits in this important cereal.
Project description:Artificial selection of high yield crops and better livestock is paramount importance in breeding programs. Selection of elite parents with preferred traits from a phalanx of inbred lines is extremely laborious, time-consuming and highly random. General combining ability (GCA) was proposed and has been widely used for the evaluation of parents in hybrid breeding for more than half a century. However, the genetic and molecular basis of GCA has been largely overlooked. Here, we present two pleotropic QTLs are accounting for GCA of days to heading (DTH), plant height (PH) and spikelet per panicle (SPP) using an F2-based NCII design, the BC3F2 population as well as a set of nearly isogenic lines (NILs) with five testers. Both GCA1 and GCA2 were loss-of-function gene in low-GCA parent and gain-of-function gene in high-GCA parent, encoding the putative Pseudo-Response Regulators, OsPRR37 and Ghd7, respectively. Overexpression of GCA1 in low-GCA parent significantly increases GCA effects in three traits. Our results demonstrate that two GCA loci associate with OsPRR37 and Ghd7 and reveal that the genes responsible for important agronomic traits could simultaneously account for GCA effects.
Project description:Evaluation and prediction of the performance of hybrids is important in eggplant (Solanum melongena) breeding. A set of 10 morphologically highly diverse eggplant parents, including nine inbred S. melongena and one weedy S. insanum accessions, were intercrossed according to a half-diallel mating design without reciprocals to obtain 45 hybrids. Parents and hybrids were evaluated for 14 morphological and agronomic conventional descriptors and 14 fruit morphometric traits using Tomato Analyzer. Genetic distances among parents were estimated with 7,335 polymorphic SNP markers. Wide ranges of variation and significant differences were observed in the set of 55 genotypes for all traits, although the hybrids group had significantly higher vigour and yield than parents. General and specific combining abilities (GCA and SCA) were significant for most (GCA) or all (SCA) traits, although a wide variation was obtained for GCA/SCA ratios. Many relevant traits associated to vigour and yield had low GCA/SCA ratios and narrow-sense heritability (h2) values, while the reverse occurred for most fruit shape descriptors. Broad-sense heritability (H2) values were generally high, irrespective of GCA/SCA ratios. Significant correlations were found between traits related to size of leaf, flower and fruit, as well as among many fruit morphometric traits. Genetic distances (GD) among parents were coherent with their phylogenetic relationships, but few significant and generally low correlations were found between GD and hybrid means, heterosis or SCA. The results provide relevant information for developing appropriate strategies for parent selection and hybrid development in eggplant and suggest that GD among parents have limited value to predict hybrid performance in this crop.