QTL x environment interactions underlie ionome divergence in switchgrass.
ABSTRACT: Ionomics measures elemental concentrations in biological organisms and provides a snapshot of physiology under different conditions. In this study, we evaluate genetic variation of the ionome in outbred, perennial switchgrass in three environments across the species' native range, and explore patterns of genotype-by-environment interactions. We grew 725 clonally replicated genotypes of a large full sib family from a four-way linkage mapping population, created from deeply diverged upland and lowland switchgrass ecotypes, at three common gardens. Concentrations of 18 mineral elements were determined in whole post-anthesis tillers using ion coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). These measurements were used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) with and without QTL-by-environment interactions (QTLxE) using a multi-environment QTL mapping approach. We found that element concentrations varied significantly both within and between switchgrass ecotypes, and GxE was present at both the trait and QTL level. Concentrations of 14 of the 18 elements were under some genetic control, and 77 QTL were detected for these elements. 74% of QTL colocalized multiple elements, half of QTL exhibited significant QTLxE, and roughly equal numbers of QTL had significant differences in magnitude and sign of their effects across environments. The switchgrass ionome is under moderate genetic control and by loci with highly variable effects across environments.
Project description:Rice provides more than one fifth of daily calories for half of the world's human population, and is a major dietary source of both essential mineral nutrients and toxic elements. Rice grains are generally poor in some essential nutrients but may contain unsafe levels of some toxic elements under certain conditions. Identification of quantitative trait loci (QTLs) controlling the concentrations of mineral nutrients and toxic trace metals (the ionome) in rice will facilitate development of nutritionally improved rice varieties. However, QTL analyses have traditionally considered each element separately without considering their interrelatedness. In this study, we performed principal component analysis (PCA) and multivariate QTL analyses to identify the genetic loci controlling the covariance among mineral elements in the rice ionome. We resequenced the whole genomes of a rice recombinant inbred line (RIL) population, and performed univariate and multivariate QTL analyses for the concentrations of 16 elements in grains, shoots and roots of the RIL population grown in different conditions. We identified a total of 167 unique elemental QTLs based on analyses of individual elemental concentrations as separate traits, 53 QTLs controlling covariance among elemental concentrations within a single environment/tissue (PC-QTLs), and 152 QTLs which determined covariation among elements across environments/tissues (aPC-QTLs). The candidate genes underlying the QTL clusters with elemental QTLs, PC-QTLs and aPC-QTLs co-localized were identified, including <i>OsHMA4</i> and <i>OsNRAMP5</i>. The identification of both elemental QTLs and PC QTLs will facilitate the cloning of underlying causal genes and the dissection of the complex regulation of the ionome in rice.
Project description:To mitigate the effects of heat and drought stress, a better understanding of the genetic control of physiological responses to these environmental conditions is needed. To this end, we evaluated an upland cotton (Gossypium hirsutum L.) mapping population under water-limited and well-watered conditions in a hot, arid environment. The elemental concentrations (ionome) of seed samples from the population were profiled in addition to those of soil samples taken from throughout the field site to better model environmental variation. The elements profiled in seeds exhibited moderate to high heritabilities, as well as strong phenotypic and genotypic correlations between elements that were not altered by the imposed irrigation regimes. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping results from a Bayesian classification method identified multiple genomic regions where QTL for individual elements colocalized, suggesting that genetic control of the ionome is highly interrelated. To more fully explore this genetic architecture, multivariate QTL mapping was implemented among groups of biochemically related elements. This analysis revealed both additional and pleiotropic QTL responsible for coordinated control of phenotypic variation for elemental accumulation. Machine learning algorithms that utilized only ionomic data predicted the irrigation regime under which genotypes were evaluated with very high accuracy. Taken together, these results demonstrate the extent to which the seed ionome is genetically interrelated and predictive of plant physiological responses to adverse environmental conditions.
Project description:The integrated responses of biological systems to genetic and environmental variation result in substantial covariance in multiple phenotypes. The resultant pleiotropy, environmental effects, and genotype-by-environmental interactions (GxE) are foundational to our understanding of biology and genetics. Yet, the treatment of correlated characters, and the identification of the genes encoding functions that generate this covariance, has lagged. As a test case for analyzing the genetic basis underlying multiple correlated traits, we analyzed maize kernel ionomes from Intermated B73 x Mo17 (IBM) recombinant inbred populations grown in 10 environments. Plants obtain elements from the soil through genetic and biochemical pathways responsive to physiological state and environment. Most perturbations affect multiple elements which leads the ionome, the full complement of mineral nutrients in an organism, to vary as an integrated network rather than a set of distinct single elements. We compared quantitative trait loci (QTL) determining single-element variation to QTL that predict variation in principal components (PCs) of multiple-element covariance. Single-element and multivariate approaches detected partially overlapping sets of loci. QTL influencing trait covariation were detected at loci that were not found by mapping single-element traits. Moreover, this approach permitted testing environmental components of trait covariance, and identified multi-element traits that were determined by both genetic and environmental factors as well as genotype-by-environment interactions. Growth environment had a profound effect on the elemental profiles and multi-element phenotypes were significantly correlated with specific environmental variables.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Nutrient minerals are essential yet potentially toxic, and homeostatic mechanisms are required to regulate their intracellular levels. We describe here a genome-wide screen for genes involved in the homeostasis of minerals in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Using inductively coupled plasma-atomic emission spectroscopy (ICP-AES), we assayed 4,385 mutant strains for the accumulation of 13 elements (calcium, cobalt, copper, iron, potassium, magnesium, manganese, nickel, phosphorus, selenium, sodium, sulfur, and zinc). We refer to the resulting accumulation profile as the yeast 'ionome'. RESULTS: We identified 212 strains that showed altered ionome profiles when grown on a rich growth medium. Surprisingly few of these mutants (four strains) were affected for only one element. Rather, levels of multiple elements were altered in most mutants. It was also remarkable that only six genes previously shown to be involved in the uptake and utilization of minerals were identified here, indicating that homeostasis is robust under these replete conditions. Many mutants identified affected either mitochondrial or vacuolar function and these groups showed similar effects on the accumulation of many different elements. In addition, intriguing positive and negative correlations among different elements were observed. Finally, ionome profile data allowed us to correctly predict a function for a previously uncharacterized gene, YDR065W. We show that this gene is required for vacuolar acidification. CONCLUSION: Our results indicate the power of ionomics to identify new aspects of mineral homeostasis and how these data can be used to develop hypotheses regarding the functions of previously uncharacterized genes.
Project description:This study presents a comprehensive study of the genetic bases controlling variation in the rice ionome employing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) with a diverse panel of indica accessions, each genotyped with 5.2 million markers. GWAS was performed for twelve elements including B, Ca, Co, Cu, Fe, K, Mg, Mn, Mo, Na, P, and Zn and four agronomic traits including days to 50% flowering, grain yield, plant height and thousand grain weight. GWAS identified 128 loci associated with the grain elements and 57 associated with the agronomic traits. There were sixteen co-localization regions containing QTL for two or more traits. Fourteen grain element quantitative trait loci were stable across growing environments, which can be strong candidates to be used in marker-assisted selection to improve the concentrations of nutritive elements in rice grain. Potential candidate genes were revealed including OsNAS3 linked to the locus that controls the variation of Zn and Co concentrations. The effects of starch synthesis and grain filling on multiple grain elements were elucidated through the likely involvement of OsSUS1 and OsGSSB1 genes. Overall, our study provides crucial insights into the genetic basis of ionomic variations in rice and will facilitate improvement in breeding for trace mineral content.
Project description:Natural variation in the regulation of the accumulation of mineral nutrients and trace elements in plant tissues is crucial to plant metabolism, development, and survival across different habitats. Studies of the genetic basis of natural variation in nutrient metabolism have been facilitated by the development of ionomics. Ionomics is a functional genomic approach for the identification of the genes and gene networks that regulate the elemental composition, or ionome, of an organism. In this study, we evaluated the genetic basis of divergence in elemental composition between an inland annual and a coastal perennial accession of Mimulus guttatus using a recombinant inbred line (RIL) mapping population. Out of 20 elements evaluated, Mo and Cd were the most divergent in accumulation between the two accessions and were highly genetically correlated in the RILs across two replicated experiments. We discovered two major quantitative trait loci (QTL) for Mo accumulation, the largest of which consistently colocalized with a QTL for Cd accumulation. Interestingly, both Mo QTLs also colocalized with the two M. guttatus homologues of MOT1, the only known plant transporter to be involved in natural variation in molybdate uptake.
Project description:Plants obtain soil-resident elements that support growth and metabolism from the water-flow facilitated by transpiration and active transport processes. The availability of elements in the environment interacts with the genetic capacity of organisms to modulate element uptake through plastic adaptive responses, such as homeostasis. These interactions should cause the elemental contents of plants to vary such that the effects of genetic polymorphisms will be dramatically dependent on the environment in which the plant is grown. To investigate genotype by environment interactions underlying elemental accumulation, we analyzed levels of elements in maize kernels of the Intermated B73 × Mo17 (IBM) recombinant inbred population grown in 10 different environments, spanning a total of six locations and five different years. In analyses conducted separately for each environment, we identified a total of 79 quantitative trait loci (QTL) controlling seed elemental accumulation. While a set of these QTL was found in multiple environments, the majority were specific to a single environment, suggesting the presence of genetic by environment interactions. To specifically identify and quantify QTL by environment interactions (QEIs), we implemented two methods: linear modeling with environmental covariates, and QTL analysis on trait differences between growouts. With these approaches, we found several instances of QEI, indicating that elemental profiles are highly heritable, interrelated, and responsive to the environment.
Project description:Ionome contributes to maintain cell integrity and acts as cofactors for catalyzing regulatory pathways. Identifying ionome contributing genomic regions provides a practical framework to dissect the genetic architecture of ionomic traits for use in biofortification. Meta-QTL (MQTL) analysis is a robust method to discover stable genomic regions for traits regardless of the genetic background. This study used information of 483 QTLs for ionomic traits identified from 12 populations for MQTL analysis in Arabidopsis thaliana. The selected QTLs were projected onto the newly constructed genetic consensus map and 33 MQTLs distributed on A. thaliana chromosomes were identified. The average confidence interval (CI) of the drafted MQTLs was 1.30 cM, reduced eight folds from a mean CI of 10.88 cM for the original QTLs. Four MQTLs were considered as stable MQTLs over different genetic backgrounds and environments. In parallel to the gene density over the A. thaliana genome, the genomic distribution of MQTLs over the genetic and physical maps indicated the highest density at non- and sub-telomeric chromosomal regions, respectively. Several candidate genes identified in the MQTLs intervals were associated with ion transportation, tolerance, and homeostasis. The genomic context of the identified MQTLs suggested nine chromosomal regions for Zn, Mn, and Fe control. The QTLs for potassium (K) and phosphorus (P) were the most frequently co-located with Zn (78.3%), Mn (76.2%), and Fe (88.2% and 70.6%) QTLs. The current MQTL analysis demonstrates that meta-QTL analysis is cheaper than, and as informative as genome-wide association study (GWAS) in refining the known QTLs.
Project description:The ionome of the rice grain is crucial for the health of populations that consume rice as a staple food. However, the contribution of phenotypic plasticity to the variation of rice grain ionome and the genetic architecture of phenotypic plasticity are poorly understood. In this study, we investigated the rice grain ionome of a rice diversity panel in up to eight environments. A considerable proportion of phenotypic variance can be attributed to phenotypic plasticity. Then, phenotypic plasticity and mean phenotype were quantified using Bayesian Finlay-Wilkinson regression, and a significant correlation between them was observed. However, the genetic architecture of mean phenotype was distinct from that of phenotypic plasticity. Also, the correlation between them was mainly attributed to the phenotypic divergence between rice subspecies. Furthermore, the results of whole-genome regression analysis showed that the genetic loci related to phenotypic plasticity can explain a considerable proportion of the phenotypic variance in some environments, especially for Cd, Cu, Mn, and Zn. Our study not only sheds light on the genetic architecture of phenotypic plasticity of the rice grain ionome but also suggests that the genetic loci which related to phenotypic plasticity are valuable in rice grain ionome improvement breeding.
Project description:Aging involves coordinated yet distinct changes in organs and systems throughout life, including changes in essential trace elements. However, how aging affects tissue element composition (ionome) and how these changes lead to dysfunction and disease remain unclear. Here, we quantified changes in the ionome across eight organs and 16 age groups of mice. This global profiling revealed novel interactions between elements at the level of tissue, age, and diet, and allowed us to achieve a broader, organismal view of the aging process. We found that while the entire ionome steadily transitions along the young-to-old trajectory, individual organs are characterized by distinct element changes. The ionome of mice on calorie restriction (CR) moved along a similar but shifted trajectory, pointing that at the organismal level this dietary regimen changes metabolism in order to slow down aging. However, in some tissues CR mimicked a younger state of control mice. Even though some elements changed with age differently in different tissues, in general aging was characterized by the reduced levels of elements as well as their increased variance. The dataset we prepared also allowed to develop organ-specific, ionome-based markers of aging that could help monitor the rate of aging. In some tissues, these markers reported the lifespan-extending effect of CR. These aging biomarkers have the potential to become an accessible tool to test the age-modulating effects of interventions.