ResearchPad - crop-genetics https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Improving yield and fruit quality traits in sweet passion fruit: Evidence for genotype by environment interaction and selection of promising genotypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_14554 Breeding for yield and fruit quality traits in passion fruits is complex due to the polygenic nature of these traits and the existence of genetic correlations among them. Therefore, studies focused on crop management practices and breeding using modern quantitative genetic approaches are still needed, especially for Passiflora alata, an understudied crop, popularly known as the sweet passion fruit. It is highly appreciated for its typical aroma and flavor characteristics. In this study, we aimed to reevaluate 30 genotypes previously selected for fruit quality from a 100 full-sib sweet passion fruit progeny in three environments, with a view to estimating the heritability and genetic correlations, and investigating the GEI and response to selection for nine fruit traits (weight, diameter and length of the fruit; thickness and weight of skin; weight and yield of fruit pulp; soluble solids, and yield). Pairwise genetic correlations among the fruit traits showed mostly intermediate to high values, especially those associated with fruit size and shape. Different genotype rankings were obtained regarding the predicted genetic values of weight of skin, thickness of skin and weight of pulp in each environment. Finally, we used a multiplicative selection index to select simultaneously for weight of pulp and against fruit skin thickness and weight. The response to selection was positive for all traits except soluble solids, and the 20% superior (six) genotypes were ranked. Based on the assumption that incompatibility mechanisms exist in P. alata, the selected genotypes were intercrossed in a complete diallel mating scheme. It is worth noting that all genotypes produced fruits, which is essential to guarantee yields in commercial orchards.

]]>
<![CDATA[Introgression of peanut smut resistance from landraces to elite peanut cultivars (Arachis hypogaea L.)]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c67306ad5eed0c484f37ac6

Smut disease caused by the fungal pathogen Thecaphora frezii Carranza & Lindquist is threatening the peanut production in Argentina. Fungicides commonly used in the peanut crop have shown little or no effect controlling the disease, making it a priority to obtain peanut varieties resistant to smut. In this study, recombinant inbred lines (RILs) were developed from three crosses between three susceptible peanut elite cultivars (Arachis hypogaea L. subsp. hypogaea) and two resistant landraces (Arachis hypogaea L. subsp. fastigiata Waldron). Parents and RILs were evaluated under high inoculum pressure (12000 teliospores g-1 of soil) over three years. Disease resistance parameters showed a broad range of variation with incidence mean values ranging from 1.0 to 35.0% and disease severity index ranging from 0.01 to 0.30. Average heritability (h2) estimates of 0.61 to 0.73 indicated that resistance in the RILs was heritable, with several lines (4 to 7 from each cross) showing a high degree of resistance and stability over three years. Evidence of genetic transfer between genetically distinguishable germplasm (introgression in a broad sense) was further supported by simple-sequence repeats (SSRs) and Insertion/Deletion (InDel) marker genotyping. This is the first report of smut genetic resistance identified in peanut landraces and its introgression into elite peanut cultivars.

]]>
<![CDATA[Blast resistance in Indian rice landraces: Genetic dissection by gene specific markers]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c5217bdd5eed0c4847944c5

Understanding of genetic diversity is important to explore existing gene in any crop breeding program. Most of the diversity preserved in the landraces which are well–known reservoirs of important traits for biotic and abiotic stresses. In the present study, the genetic diversity at twenty-four most significant blast resistance gene loci using twenty-eight gene specific markers were investigated in landraces originated from nine diverse rice ecologies of India. Based on phenotypic evaluation, landraces were classified into three distinct groups: highly resistant (21), moderately resistant (70) and susceptible (70). The landraces harbour a range of five to nineteen genes representing blast resistance allele with the frequency varied from 4.96% to 100%. The cluster analysis grouped entire 161 landraces into two major groups. Population structure along with other parameters was also analyzed to understand the evolution of blast resistance gene in rice. The population structure analysis and principal coordinate analysis classified the landraces into two sub–populations. Analysis of molecular variance showed maximum (93%) diversity within the population and least (7%) between populations. Five markers viz; K3957, Pikh, Pi2–i, RM212and RM302 were strongly associated with blast disease with the phenotypic variance of 1.4% to 7.6%. These resistant landraces will serve as a valuable genetic resource for future genomic studies, host–pathogen interaction, identification of novel R genes and rice improvement strategies.

]]>
<![CDATA[Genome-scale characterization of the vacuole nitrate transporter Chloride Channel (CLC) genes and their transcriptional responses to diverse nutrient stresses in allotetraploid rapeseed]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c254561d5eed0c48442c648

The Chloride Channel (CLC) gene family is reported to be involved in vacuolar nitrate (NO3-) transport. Nitrate distribution to the cytoplasm is beneficial for enhancing NO3- assimilation and plays an important role in the regulation of nitrogen (N) use efficiency (NUE). In this study, genomic information, high-throughput transcriptional profiles, and gene co-expression analysis were integrated to identify the CLCs (BnaCLCs) in Brassica napus. The decreased NO3- concentration in the clca-2 mutant up-regulated the activities of nitrate reductase and glutamine synthetase, contributing to increase N assimilation and higher NUE in Arabidopsis thaliana. The genome-wide identification of 22BnaCLC genes experienced strong purifying selection. Segmental duplication was the major driving force in the expansion of the BnaCLC gene family. The most abundant cis-acting regulatory elements in the gene promoters, including DNA-binding One Zinc Finger, W-box, MYB, and GATA-box, might be involved in the transcriptional regulation of BnaCLCs expression. High-throughput transcriptional profiles and quantitative real-time PCR results showed that BnaCLCs responded differentially to distinct NO3- regimes. Transcriptomics-assisted gene co-expression network analysis identified BnaA7.CLCa-3 as the core member of the BnaCLC family, and this gene might play a central role in vacuolar NO3- transport in crops. The BnaCLC members also showed distinct expression patterns under phosphate depletion and cadmium toxicity. Taken together, our results provide comprehensive insights into the vacuolar BnaCLCs and establish baseline information for future studies on BnaCLCs-mediated vacuolar NO3- storage and its effect on NUE.

]]>
<![CDATA[Identification of barley powdery mildew resistances in gene bank accessions and the use of gene diversity for verifying seed purity and authenticity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5c141ec3d5eed0c484d2821a

Human activities including those in crop gene banks are subject to errors, especially during seed multiplication and maintenance of seed germination. Therefore, the most serious problem of gene banks is authenticity of the accessions and their genotypic purity. There are many methods for determining the identity of varieties, but comparisons between current data and past records are not easy since the latter are often missing. Breeding barley resistant to powdery mildew caused by Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei (Bgh) was traditionally based on incorporating major genes into new varieties and the results have been published. Our goal was to identify resistance genes to powdery mildew in accessions of the Czech spring barley core collection and compare these data with earlier information to establish the authenticity of the accessions. Two hundred and twenty-three accessions of the collection including 665 single plant progenies were tested. Sixty-four selected reference isolates of Bgh representing the world diversity of the pathogen were used for resistance tests. Twenty-two known resistance genes were postulated either separately or in combinations. In the collection, 151 homogeneous accessions were found, but the resistances of nine of them were inconsistent with published data and in 12 accessions their authenticity is doubtful. The remaining 72 accessions were heterogeneous and comprised 176 resistance genotypes, 54 of which were probably mechanical admixtures of other varieties. There are several pathogens of cereals, e.g. rusts and mildews, against which many resistance genes in host crops have also been exploited. Knowledge of these resistances can assist in maintaining pure and genuine stocks in gene banks. Seed purity and the authenticity of accessions can subsequently be checked with more advanced methods.

]]>
<![CDATA[Elucidating the contribution of wild related species on autochthonous pear germplasm: A case study from Mount Etna]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5b28b3e7463d7e1292999385

The pear (genus Pyrus) is one of the most ancient and widely cultivated tree fruit crops in temperate climates. The Mount Etna area claims a large number of pear varieties differentiated due to a long history of cultivation and environmental variability, making this area particularly suitable for genetic studies. Ninety-five pear individuals were genotyped using the simple sequence repeat (SSR) methodology interrogating both the nuclear (nDNA) and chloroplast DNA (cpDNA) to combine an investigation of maternal inheritance of chloroplast SSRs (cpSSRs) with the high informativity of nuclear SSRs (nSSRs). The germplasm was selected ad hoc to include wild genotypes, local varieties, and national and international cultivated varieties. The objectives of this study were as follows: (i) estimate the level of differentiation within local varieties; (ii) elucidate the phylogenetic relationships between the cultivated genotypes and wild accessions; and (iii) estimate the potential genetic flow and the relationship among the germplasms in our analysis. Eight nSSRs detected a total of 136 alleles with an average minor allelic frequency and observed heterozygosity of 0.29 and 0.65, respectively, whereas cpSSRs allowed identification of eight haplotypes (S4 Table). These results shed light on the genetic relatedness between Italian varieties and wild genotypes. Among the wild species, compared with P. amygdaliformis, few P. pyraster genotypes exhibited higher genetic similarity to local pear varieties. Our analysis revealed the presence of genetic stratification with a ‘wild’ subpopulation characterizing the genetic makeup of wild species and the international cultivated varieties exhibiting the predominance of the ‘cultivated’ subpopulation.

]]>
<![CDATA[The Positive Regulatory Roles of the TIFY10 Proteins in Plant Responses to Alkaline Stress]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dac8ab0ee8fa60bb310c

The TIFY family is a novel plant-specific protein family, and is characterized by a conserved TIFY motif (TIFF/YXG). Our previous studies indicated the potential roles of TIFY10/11 proteins in plant responses to alkaline stress. In the current study, we focused on the regulatory roles and possible physiological and molecular basis of the TIFY10 proteins in plant responses to alkaline stress. We demonstrated the positive function of TIFY10s in alkaline responses by using the AtTIFY10a and AtTIFY10b knockout Arabidopsis, as evidenced by the relatively lower germination rates of attify10a and attify10b mutant seeds under alkaline stress. We also revealed that ectopic expression of GsTIFY10a in Medicago sativa promoted plant growth, and increased the NADP-ME activity, citric acid content and free proline content but decreased the MDA content of transgenic plants under alkaline stress. Furthermore, expression levels of the stress responsive genes including NADP-ME, CS, H+-ppase and P5CS were also up-regulated in GsTIFY10a transgenic plants under alkaline stress. Interestingly, GsTIFY10a overexpression increased the jasmonate content of the transgenic alfalfa. In addition, we showed that neither GsTIFY10a nor GsTIFY10e exhibited transcriptional activity in yeast cells. However, through Y2H and BiFc assays, we demonstrated that GsTIFY10a, not GsTIFY10e, could form homodimers in yeast cells and in living plant cells. As expected, we also demonstrated that GsTIFY10a and GsTIFY10e could heterodimerize with each other in both yeast and plant cells. Taken together, our results provided direct evidence supporting the positive regulatory roles of the TIFY10 proteins in plant responses to alkaline stress.

]]>
<![CDATA[A Complete Solution for Dissecting Pure Main and Epistatic Effects of QTL in Triple Testcross Design]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da79ab0ee8fa60b97d41

Epistasis plays an important role in genetics, evolution and crop breeding. To detect the epistasis, triple test cross (TTC) design had been developed several decades ago. Classical procedures for the TTC design use only linear transformations Z1, Z2 and Z3, calculated from the TTC family means of quantitative trait, to infer the nature of the collective additive, dominance and epistatic effects of all the genes. Although several quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping approaches in the TTC design have been developed, these approaches do not provide a complete solution for dissecting pure main and epistatic effects. In this study, therefore, we developed a two-step approach to estimate all pure main and epistatic effects in the F2-based TTC design under the F2 and F metric models. In the first step, with Z1 and Z2 the augmented main and epistatic effects in the full genetic model that simultaneously considered all putative QTL on the whole genome were estimated using empirical Bayes approach, and with Z3 three pure epistatic effects were obtained using two-dimensional genome scans. In the second step, the three pure epistatic effects obtained in the first step were integrated with the augmented epistatic and main effects for the further estimation of all other pure effects. A series of Monte Carlo simulation experiments has been carried out to confirm the proposed method. The results from simulation experiments show that: 1) the newly defined genetic parameters could be rightly identified with satisfactory statistical power and precision; 2) the F2-based TTC design was superior to the F2 and F2:3 designs; 3) with Z1 and Z2 the statistical powers for the detection of augmented epistatic effects were substantively affected by the signs of pure epistatic effects; and 4) with Z3 the estimation of pure epistatic effects required large sample size and family replication number. The extension of the proposed method in this study to other base populations was further discussed.

]]>
<![CDATA[Unique Changes in Mitochondrial Genomes Associated with Reversions of S-Type Cytoplasmic Male Sterility in Maizemar]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db0aab0ee8fa60bc9dda

Cytoplasmic male sterility (CMS) in plants is usually associated with the expression of specific chimeric regions within rearranged mitochondrial genomes. Maize CMS-S plants express high amounts of a 1.6-kb mitochondrial RNA during microspore maturation, which is associated with the observed pollen abortion. This transcript carries two chimeric open reading frames, orf355 and orf77, both unique to CMS-S. CMS-S mitochondria also contain free linear DNA plasmids bearing terminal inverted repeats (TIRs). These TIRs recombine with TIR-homologous sequences that precede orf355/orf77 within the main mitochondrial genome to produce linear ends. Transcription of the 1.6-kb RNA is initiated from a promoter within the TIRs only when they are at linear ends. Reversions of CMS-S to fertility occur in certain nuclear backgrounds and are usually associated with loss of the S plasmids and/or the sterility-associated region. We describe an unusual set of independently recovered revertants from a single maternal lineage that retain both the S plasmids and an intact orf355/orf77 region but which do not produce the 1.6-kb RNA. A 7.3-kb inversion resulting from illegitmate recombination between 14-bp microrepeats has separated the genomic TIR sequences from the CMS-associated region. Although RNAs containing orf355/orf77 can still be detected in the revertants, they are not highly expressed during pollen development and they are no longer initiated from the TIR promoter at a protein-stabilized linear end. They appear instead to be co-transcribed with cytochrome oxidase subunit 2. The 7.3-kb inversion was not detected in CMS-S or in other fertile revertants. Therefore, this inversion appears to be a de novo mutation that has continued to sort out within a single maternal lineage, giving rise to fertile progeny in successive generations.

]]>
<![CDATA[QTL Analysis of Shading Sensitive Related Traits in Maize under Two Shading Treatments]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da70ab0ee8fa60b94953

During maize development and reproduction, shading stress is an important abiotic factor influencing grain yield. To elucidate the genetic basis of shading stress in maize, an F2:3 population derived from two inbred lines, Zhong72 and 502, was used to evaluate the performance of six traits under shading treatment and full-light treatment at two locations. The results showed that shading treatment significantly decreased plant height and ear height, reduced stem diameter, delayed day-to-tassel (DTT) and day-to-silk (DTS), and increased anthesis-silking interval (ASI). Forty-three different QTLs were identified for the six measured traits under shading and full light treatment at two locations, including seven QTL for plant height, nine QTL for ear height, six QTL for stem diameter, seven QTL for day-to-tassel, six QTL for day-to-silk, and eight QTL for ASI. Interestingly, three QTLs, qPH4, qEH4a, and qDTT1b were detected under full sunlight and shading treatment at two locations simultaneously, these QTL could be used for selecting elite hybrids with high tolerance to shading and high plant density. And the two QTL, qPH10 and qDTS1a, were only detected under shading treatment at two locations, should be quit for selecting insensitive inbred line in maize breeding procedure by using MAS method.

]]>
<![CDATA[Construction of Chromosome Segment Substitution Lines in Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) Using a Wild Synthetic and QTL Mapping for Plant Morphology]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da8fab0ee8fa60b9f5f3

Chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) are powerful QTL mapping populations that have been used to elucidate the molecular basis of interesting traits of wild species. Cultivated peanut is an allotetraploid with limited genetic diversity. Capturing the genetic diversity from peanut wild relatives is an important objective in many peanut breeding programs. In this study, we used a marker-assisted backcrossing strategy to produce a population of 122 CSSLs from the cross between the wild synthetic allotetraploid (A. ipaënsis×A. duranensis)4x and the cultivated Fleur11 variety. The 122 CSSLs offered a broad coverage of the peanut genome, with target wild chromosome segments averaging 39.2 cM in length. As a demonstration of the utility of these lines, four traits were evaluated in a subset of 80 CSSLs. A total of 28 lines showed significant differences from Fleur11. The line×trait significant associations were assigned to 42 QTLs: 14 for plant growth habit, 15 for height of the main stem, 12 for plant spread and one for flower color. Among the 42 QTLs, 37 were assigned to genomic regions and three QTL positions were considered putative. One important finding arising from this QTL analysis is that peanut growth habit is a complex trait that is governed by several QTLs with different effects. The CSSL population developed in this study has proved efficient for deciphering the molecular basis of trait variations and will be useful to the peanut scientific community for future QTL mapping studies.

]]>
<![CDATA[High-Density SNP Genotyping of Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.) Reveals Patterns of Genetic Variation Due to Breeding]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db08ab0ee8fa60bc9123

The effects of selection on genome variation were investigated and visualized in tomato using a high-density single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. 7,720 SNPs were genotyped on a collection of 426 tomato accessions (410 inbreds and 16 hybrids) and over 97% of the markers were polymorphic in the entire collection. Principal component analysis (PCA) and pairwise estimates of Fst supported that the inbred accessions represented seven sub-populations including processing, large-fruited fresh market, large-fruited vintage, cultivated cherry, landrace, wild cherry, and S. pimpinellifolium. Further divisions were found within both the contemporary processing and fresh market sub-populations. These sub-populations showed higher levels of genetic diversity relative to the vintage sub-population. The array provided a large number of polymorphic SNP markers across each sub-population, ranging from 3,159 in the vintage accessions to 6,234 in the cultivated cherry accessions. Visualization of minor allele frequency revealed regions of the genome that distinguished three representative sub-populations of cultivated tomato (processing, fresh market, and vintage), particularly on chromosomes 2, 4, 5, 6, and 11. The PCA loadings and Fst outlier analysis between these three sub-populations identified a large number of candidate loci under positive selection on chromosomes 4, 5, and 11. The extent of linkage disequilibrium (LD) was examined within each chromosome for these sub-populations. LD decay varied between chromosomes and sub-populations, with large differences reflective of breeding history. For example, on chromosome 11, decay occurred over 0.8 cM for processing accessions and over 19.7 cM for fresh market accessions. The observed SNP variation and LD decay suggest that different patterns of genetic variation in cultivated tomato are due to introgression from wild species and selection for market specialization.

]]>
<![CDATA[Abundant Microsatellite Diversity and Oil Content in Wild Arachis Species]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989dabaab0ee8fa60bae3e0

The peanut (Arachis hypogaea) is an important oil crop. Breeding for high oil content is becoming increasingly important. Wild Arachis species have been reported to harbor genes for many valuable traits that may enable the improvement of cultivated Arachis hypogaea, such as resistance to pests and disease. However, only limited information is available on variation in oil content. In the present study, a collection of 72 wild Arachis accessions representing 19 species and 3 cultivated peanut accessions were genotyped using 136 genome-wide SSR markers and phenotyped for oil content over three growing seasons. The wild Arachis accessions showed abundant diversity across the 19 species. A. duranensis exhibited the highest diversity, with a Shannon-Weaver diversity index of 0.35. A total of 129 unique alleles were detected in the species studied. A. rigonii exhibited the largest number of unique alleles (75), indicating that this species is highly differentiated. AMOVA and genetic distance analyses confirmed the genetic differentiation between the wild Arachis species. The majority of SSR alleles were detected exclusively in the wild species and not in A. hypogaea, indicating that directional selection or the hitchhiking effect has played an important role in the domestication of the cultivated peanut. The 75 accessions were grouped into three clusters based on population structure and phylogenic analysis, consistent with their taxonomic sections, species and genome types. A. villosa and A. batizocoi were grouped with A. hypogaea, suggesting the close relationship between these two diploid wild species and the cultivated peanut. Considerable phenotypic variation in oil content was observed among different sections and species. Nine alleles were identified as associated with oil content based on association analysis, of these, three alleles were associated with higher oil content but were absent in the cultivated peanut. The results demonstrated that there is great potential to increase the oil content in A. hypogaea by using the wild Arachis germplasm.

]]>
<![CDATA[Altered Levels of Histone Deacetylase OsHDT1 Affect Differential Gene Expression Patterns in Hybrid Rice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da15ab0ee8fa60b7b147

Hybrids between different inbred varieties display novel patterns of gene expression resulted from parental variation in allelic nucleotide sequences. To study the function of chromatin regulators in hybrid gene expression, the histone deacetylase gene OsHDT1 whose expression displayed a circadian rhythm was over-expressed or inactivated by RNAi in an elite rice parent. Increased OsHDT1 expression did not affect plant growth in the parent but led to early flowering in the hybrid. Nonadditive up-regulation of key flowering time genes was found to be related to flowering time of the hybrid. Over-expression of OsHDT1 repressed the nonadditive expression of the key flowering repressors in the hybrid (i.e. OsGI and Hd1) inducing early flowering. Analysis of histone acetylation suggested that OsHDT1 over-expression might promote deacetylation on OsGI and Hd1 chromatin during the peak expression phase. High throughput differential gene expression analysis revealed that altered OsHDT1 levels affected nonadditive expression of many genes in the hybrid. These data demonstrate that nonadditive gene expression was involved in flowering time control in the hybrid rice and that OsHDT1 level was important for nonadditive or differential expression of many genes including the flowering time genes, suggesting that OsHDT1 may be involved in epigenetic control of parental genome interaction for differential gene expression.

]]>
<![CDATA[Escape to Ferality: The Endoferal Origin of Weedy Rice from Crop Rice through De-Domestication]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6bab0ee8fa60b92d4f

Domestication is the hallmark of evolution and civilization and harnesses biodiversity through selection for specific traits. In regions where domesticated lines are grown near wild relatives, congeneric sources of aggressive weedy genotypes cause major economic losses. Thus, the origins of weedy genotypes where no congeneric species occur raise questions regarding management effectiveness and evolutionary mechanisms responsible for weedy population success. Since eradication in the 1970s, California growers avoided weedy rice through continuous flood culture and zero-tolerance guidelines, preventing the import, presence, and movement of weedy seeds. In 2003, after decades of no reported presence in California, a weedy rice population was confirmed in dry-seeded fields. Our objectives were to identify the origins and establishment of this population and pinpoint possible phenotypes involved. We show that California weedy rice is derived from a different genetic source among a broad range of AA genome Oryzas and is most recently diverged from O. sativa temperate japonica cultivated in California. In contrast, other weedy rice ecotypes in North America (Southern US) originate from weedy genotypes from China near wild Oryza, and are derived through existing crop-wild relative crosses. Analyses of morphological data show that California weedy rice subgroups have phenotypes like medium-grain or gourmet cultivars, but have colored pericarp, seed shattering, and awns like wild relatives, suggesting that reversion to non-domestic or wild-like traits can occur following domestication, despite apparent fixation of domestication alleles. Additionally, these results indicate that preventive methods focused on incoming weed sources through contamination may miss burgeoning weedy genotypes that rapidly adapt, establish, and proliferate. Investigating the common and unique evolutionary mechanisms underlying global weed origins and subsequent interactions with crop relatives sheds light on how weeds evolve and addresses broader questions regarding the stability of selection during domestication and crop improvement.

]]>
<![CDATA[Salt Stress Induced Variation in DNA Methylation Pattern and Its Influence on Gene Expression in Contrasting Rice Genotypes]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db10ab0ee8fa60bcbc9c

Background

Salinity is a major environmental factor limiting productivity of crop plants including rice in which wide range of natural variability exists. Although recent evidences implicate epigenetic mechanisms for modulating the gene expression in plants under environmental stresses, epigenetic changes and their functional consequences under salinity stress in rice are underexplored. DNA methylation is one of the epigenetic mechanisms regulating gene expression in plant’s responses to environmental stresses. Better understanding of epigenetic regulation of plant growth and response to environmental stresses may create novel heritable variation for crop improvement.

Methodology/Principal Findings

Methylation sensitive amplification polymorphism (MSAP) technique was used to assess the effect of salt stress on extent and patterns of DNA methylation in four genotypes of rice differing in the degree of salinity tolerance. Overall, the amount of DNA methylation was more in shoot compared to root and the contribution of fully methylated loci was always more than hemi-methylated loci. Sequencing of ten randomly selected MSAP fragments indicated gene-body specific DNA methylation of retrotransposons, stress responsive genes, and chromatin modification genes, distributed on different rice chromosomes. Bisulphite sequencing and quantitative RT-PCR analysis of selected MSAP loci showed that cytosine methylation changes under salinity as well as gene expression varied with genotypes and tissue types irrespective of the level of salinity tolerance of rice genotypes.

Conclusions/Significance

The gene body methylation may have an important role in regulating gene expression in organ and genotype specific manner under salinity stress. Association between salt tolerance and methylation changes observed in some cases suggested that many methylation changes are not “directed”. The natural genetic variation for salt tolerance observed in rice germplasm may be independent of the extent and pattern of DNA methylation which may have been induced by abiotic stress followed by accumulation through the natural selection process.

]]>
<![CDATA[Ectopic Expression Reveals a Conserved PHYB Homolog in Soybean]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf1ab0ee8fa60bc1550

Phytochromes sense red/far-red light and trigger a cascade of physiological responses in plant. Here, a phytochrome B homolog, GmPHYB1, was amplified from the soybean genome, and its expression profiles were obtained for various parts of the plant and at various developmental stages. The gene was ectopically expressed in Arabidopsis thaliana, driven by CaMV 35S promoter, to study the physiological functions of the gene product. The overexpressors of GmPHYB1 behaved similarly to those of AtPHYB, but with some subtle differences with respect to the acceleration of flowering under short day conditions and the growth of the hypocotyl under certain light fluence rate. The results suggested that this soybean PHYB homolog was well conserved both at the level of sequence and physiological function.

]]>
<![CDATA[A Complex Recombination Pattern in the Genome of Allotetraploid Brassica napus as Revealed by a High-Density Genetic Map]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da9cab0ee8fa60ba3e6d

Polyploidy plays a crucial role in plant evolution. Brassica napus (2n = 38, AACC), the most important oil crop in the Brassica genus, is an allotetraploid that originated through natural doubling of chromosomes after the hybridization of its progenitor species, B. rapa (2n = 20, AA) and B. oleracea (2n = 18, CC). A better understanding of the evolutionary relationship between B. napus and B. rapa, B. oleracea, as well as Arabidopsis, which has a common ancestor with these three species, will provide valuable information about the generation and evolution of allopolyploidy. Based on a high-density genetic map with single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers, we performed a comparative genomic analysis of B. napus with Arabidopsis and its progenitor species B. rapa and B. oleracea. Based on the collinear relationship of B. rapa and B. oleracea in the B. napus genetic map, the B. napus genome was found to consist of 70.1% of the skeleton components of the chromosomes of B. rapa and B. oleracea, with 17.7% of sequences derived from reciprocal translocation between homoeologous chromosomes between the A- and C-genome and 3.6% of sequences derived from reciprocal translocation between non-homologous chromosomes at both intra- and inter-genomic levels. The current study thus provides insights into the formation and evolution of the allotetraploid B. napus genome, which will allow for more accurate transfer of genomic information from B. rapa, B. oleracea and Arabidopsis to B. napus.

]]>
<![CDATA[Pre-breeding of lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.) for herbicide resistance through seed mutagenesis]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989db53ab0ee8fa60bdca6a

Lentil is a poor competitor of weeds and its sensitivity to herbicides is a major hurdle for large scale production. The present study was conducted to select herbicide resistant lentil genotypes through seed mutagenesis. Seeds of three advanced lentil genotypes (LPP 11001, LPP 11100 and LPP 11116) were treated with two different concentrations of ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS; 0.1 and 0.2%), hydrazine hydrate (HH; 0.02 and 0.03%) and sodium azide (SA; 0.01 and 0.02%) to develop M1 seed. The M2 was screened against two herbicides including Ally Max 28.6% SG (X = 34.58 g/ha and 1.5X = 51.87 g/ha) and Atlantis 3.6% WG (X = 395.2 g/ha and 1.5X = 592.8 g/ha) using the following three screening methods: post plant emergence (PPE), pre-plant incorporation (PPI) and seed priming (SP). Data were recorded on survival index and survival percentage from each experimental unit of every population. Plants in all populations were categorized following their reaction to herbicides. The newly developed populations showed greater variation for herbicide resistance when compared to their progenitors. Phenotypic traits were significantly reduced in all the screening environments. Overall, 671 herbicide resistant mutants were selected from all testing environments. The seeds from selected plants were re-mutagenized at 150 Gy of gamma radiation and evaluated against higher dose of herbicides. This allowed selection of 134 herbicide resistant mutants. The selected mutants are useful germplasm for herbicide resistance breeding of lentil.

]]>
<![CDATA[Heritable Epigenetic Variation among Maize Inbreds]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf0ab0ee8fa60bc1140

Epigenetic variation describes heritable differences that are not attributable to changes in DNA sequence. There is the potential for pure epigenetic variation that occurs in the absence of any genetic change or for more complex situations that involve both genetic and epigenetic differences. Methylation of cytosine residues provides one mechanism for the inheritance of epigenetic information. A genome-wide profiling of DNA methylation in two different genotypes of Zea mays (ssp. mays), an organism with a complex genome of interspersed genes and repetitive elements, allowed the identification and characterization of examples of natural epigenetic variation. The distribution of DNA methylation was profiled using immunoprecipitation of methylated DNA followed by hybridization to a high-density tiling microarray. The comparison of the DNA methylation levels in the two genotypes, B73 and Mo17, allowed for the identification of approximately 700 differentially methylated regions (DMRs). Several of these DMRs occur in genomic regions that are apparently identical by descent in B73 and Mo17 suggesting that they may be examples of pure epigenetic variation. The methylation levels of the DMRs were further studied in a panel of near-isogenic lines to evaluate the stable inheritance of the methylation levels and to assess the contribution of cis- and trans- acting information to natural epigenetic variation. The majority of DMRs that occur in genomic regions without genetic variation are controlled by cis-acting differences and exhibit relatively stable inheritance. This study provides evidence for naturally occurring epigenetic variation in maize, including examples of pure epigenetic variation that is not conditioned by genetic differences. The epigenetic differences are variable within maize populations and exhibit relatively stable trans-generational inheritance. The detected examples of epigenetic variation, including some without tightly linked genetic variation, may contribute to complex trait variation.

]]>