Bi-allelic Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) markers are widely used in population genetic studies. In most studies, sequences either side of the SNPs remain unused, although these sequences contain information beyond that used in population genetic studies. In this study, we show how these sequence tags either side of a single nucleotide polymorphism can be used for comparative genome analysis. We used DArTseq (Diversity Array Technology) derived SNP data for a non-model Australian native freshwater fish, Macquaria ambigua, to identify genes linked to SNP associated sequence tags, and to discover homologies with evolutionarily conserved genes and genomic regions. We concatenated 6,776 SNP sequence tags to create a hypothetical genome (representing 0.1–0.3% of the actual genome), which we used to find sequence homologies with 12 model fish species using the Ensembl genome browser with stringent filtering parameters. We identified sequence homologies for 17 evolutionarily conserved genes (cd9b, plk2b, rhot1b, sh3pxd2aa, si:ch211-148f13.1, si:dkey-166d12.2, zgc:66447, atp8a2, clvs2, lyst, mkln1, mnd1, piga, pik3ca, plagl2, rnf6, sec63) along with an ancestral evolutionarily conserved syntenic block (euteleostomi Block_210). Our analysis also revealed repetitive sequences covering approximately 12% of the hypothetical genome where DNA transposon, LTR and non-LTR retrotransposons were most abundant. A hierarchical pattern of the number of sequence homologies with phylogenetically close species validated the approach for repeatability. This new approach of using SNP associated sequence tags for comparative genome analysis may provide insight into the genome evolution of non-model species where whole genome sequences are unavailable.
Macrobrachium (Bate, 1868) is a large and cosmopolitan crustacean genus of high economic importance worldwide. We investigated the morphological and molecular identification of freshwater prawns of the genus Macrobrachium in South, South West, and Littoral regions of Cameroon. A total of 1,566 specimens were examined morphologically using a key described by Konan (Diversité morphologique et génétique des crevettes des genres Atya Leach, 1816 et Macrobrachium Bate, 1868 de Côte d’Ivoire, 2009, Université d’Abobo Adjamé, Côte d’Ivoire), leading to the identification of seven species of Macrobrachium: M. vollenhovenii (Herklots, 1857); M. macrobrachion (Herklots, 1851); M. sollaudii (De Man, 1912); M. dux (Lenz, 1910); M. chevalieri (Roux, 1935); M. felicinum (Holthuis, 1949); and an undescribed Macrobrachium species M.sp. To validate the genetic basis of the identified species, 94 individuals representing the species were selected and subjected to genetic characterization using 1,814 DArT markers. The admixture analysis revealed four groups: M. vollenhovenii and M. macrobrachion; M. chevalieri; M. felicinum and M.sp; and M. dux and M. sollaudii. But, the principal component analysis (PCA) separated M.sp and M. felicinum to create additional group (i.e., five groups). Based on these findings, M. vollenhovenii and M. macrobrachion may be conspecific, as well as M. dux and M. sollaudii, while M. felicinum and M.sp seems to be different species, suggesting a potential conflict between the morphological identification key and the genetic basis underlying speciation and species allocation for Macrobrachium. These results are valuable in informing breeding design and genetic resource conservation programs for Macrobrachium in Africa.
Understanding the genetic diversity of Aegilops biuncialis, a valuable source of agronomical useful genes, may significantly facilitate the introgression breeding of wheat. The genetic diversity and population structure of 86 Ae. biuncialis genotypes were investigated by 32700 DArT markers with the simultaneous application of three statistical methods— neighbor-joining clustering, Principal Coordinate Analysis, and the Bayesian approach to classification. The collection of Ae. biuncialis accessions was divided into five groups that correlated well with their eco-geographic habitat: A (North Africa), B (mainly from Balkans), C (Kosovo and Near East), D (Turkey, Crimea, and Peloponnese), and E (Azerbaijan and the Levant region). The diversity between the Ae. biuncialis accessions for a phenological trait (heading time), which is of decisive importance in the adaptation of plants to different eco-geographical environments, was studied over 3 years. A comparison of the intraspecific variation in the heading time trait by means of analysis of variance and principal component analysis revealed four phenotypic categories showing association with the genetic structure and geographic distribution, except for minor differences. The detailed exploration of genetic and phenologic divergence provides an insight into the adaptation capacity of Ae. biuncialis, identifying promising genotypes that could be utilized for wheat improvement.
Yellow rust (YR) or stripe rust, caused by Puccinia striformis f. sp tritici Eriks (Pst), is a major challenge to resistance breeding in wheat. A genome wide association study (GWAS) was performed using 22,415 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers and 591 haplotypes to identify genomic regions associated with resistance to YR in a subset panel of 419 pre-breeding lines (PBLs) developed at International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT). The 419 PBLs were derived from an initial set of 984 PBLs generated by a three-way crossing scheme (exotic/elite1//elite2) among 25 best elites and 244 exotics (synthetics, landraces) from CIMMYT’s germplasm bank. For the study, 419 PBLs were characterized with 22,415 high-quality DArTseq-SNPs and phenotyped for severity of YR disease at five locations in Mexico. A population structure was evident in the panel with three distinct subpopulations, and a genome-wide linkage disequilibrium (LD) decay of 2.5 cM was obtained. Across all five locations, 14 SNPs and 7 haplotype blocks were significantly (P < 0.001) associated with the disease severity explaining 6.0 to 14.1% and 7.9 to 19.9% of variation, respectively. Based on average LD decay of 2.5 cM, identified 14 SNP–trait associations were delimited to seven quantitative trait loci in total. Seven SNPs were part of the two haplotype blocks on chromosome 2A identified in haplotypes-based GWAS. In silico analysis of the identified SNPs showed hits with interesting candidate genes, which are related to pathogenic process or known to regulate induction of genes related to pathogenesis such as those coding for glunolactone oxidase, quinate O-hydroxycinnamoyl transferase, or two-component histidine kinase. The two-component histidine kinase, for example, acts as a sensor in the perception of phytohormones ethylene and cytokinin. Ethylene plays a very important role in regulation of multiple metabolic processes of plants, including induction of defense mechanisms mediated by jasmonate. The SNPs linked to the promising genes identified in the study can be used for marker-assisted selection.
The haploid fungus Pseudocercospora fijiensis causes black Sigatoka in banana and is chiefly controlled by extensive fungicide applications, threatening occupational health and the environment. The 14α-Demethylase Inhibitors (DMIs) are important disease control fungicides, but they lose sensitivity in a rather gradual fashion, suggesting an underlying polygenic genetic mechanism. In spite of this, evidence found thus far suggests that P. fijiensis cyp51 gene mutations are the main responsible factor for sensitivity loss in the field. To better understand the mechanisms involved in DMI resistance, in this study we constructed a genetic map using DArTseq markers on two F1 populations generated by crossing two different DMI resistant strains with a sensitive strain. Analysis of the inheritance of DMI resistance in the F1 populations revealed two major and discrete DMI-sensitivity groups. This is an indicative of a single major responsible gene. Using the DMI-sensitivity scorings of both F1 populations and the generation of genetic linkage maps, the sensitivity causal factor was located in a single genetic region. Full agreement was found for genetic markers in either population, underlining the robustness of the approach. The two maps indicated a similar genetic region where the Pfcyp51 gene is found. Sequence analyses of the Pfcyp51 gene of the F1 populations also revealed a matching bimodal distribution with the DMI resistant. Amino acid substitutions in P. fijiensis CYP51 enzyme of the resistant progeny were previously correlated with the loss of DMI sensitivity. In addition, the resistant progeny inherited a Pfcyp51 gene promoter insertion, composed of a repeat element with a palindromic core, also previously correlated with increased gene expression. This genetic approach confirms that Pfcyp51 is the single explanatory gene for reduced sensitivity to DMI fungicides in the analysed P. fijiensis strains. Our study is the first genetic analysis to map the underlying genetic factors for reduced DMI efficacy.
Yellow spot, caused by the fungal pathogen Pyrenophora tritici–repentis (Ptr), is the most economically damaging foliar disease of wheat in Australia. Genetic resistance is considered to be the most sustainable means for disease management, yet the genomic regions underpinning resistance to Ptr, particularly adult-plant resistance (APR), remain vastly unknown. In this study, we report results of a genome-wide association study using 295 accessions from the Vavilov wheat collection which were extensively tested for response to Ptr infections in glasshouse and field trials at both seedling an adult growth stages. Combining phenotypic datasets from multiple experiments in Australia and Russia with 25,286 genome-wide, high-quality DArTseq markers, we detected a total of 11 QTL, of which 5 were associated with seedling resistance, 3 with all-stage resistance, and 3 with APR. Interestingly, the novel APR QTL were effective even in the presence of host sensitivity gene Tsn1. These genomic regions could offer broad-spectrum yellow spot protection, not just to ToxA but also other pathogenicity or virulence factors. Vavilov wheat accessions carrying APR QTL combinations displayed enhanced levels of resistance highlighting the potential for QTL stacking through breeding. We propose that the APR genetic factors discovered in our study could be used to improve resistance levels in modern wheat varieties and contribute to the sustainable control of yellow spot.
Genetic maps are an essential tool for investigating molecular markers’ linkage with traits of agronomic importance. Breeders put a lot of emphasis on this type of markers, which are used in breeding programs implementation and speed up the process of a new variety development. In this paper, we construct a new, high-density linkage genetic map for Polish material on narrow-leafed lupin. The mapping population originated from crossing the Polish variety ‘Emir’ and the Belarusian breeding line ‘LAE-1’. A new map was constructed based on DArTseq markers—a new type of marker generated with the next-generation sequencing (NGS) technique. The map was built with 4602 markers, which are divided into 20 linkage groups, corresponding with the number of gametic chromosomes in narrow-leafed lupin. On the new map there are 1174 unique loci. The total length of all linkage group is 3042 cM. This map was compared to the reference genome of narrow-leafed lupin and the CDS sequence for model legume species: emphMedicago truncatula, emphLotus japonicus and Glycine max. Analysis revealed the presence of the DArTseq marker common for all investigated species. We were able to map 38 new, unplaced scaffolds on the new genetic map of narrow-leafed lupin. The high-density genetic map we received can be used for quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping, genome-wide association study analysis and assembly of the reference genome for the whole genome sequencing (WGS) method
The appropriate selection of various traits in valuable plants is very important for modern plant breeding. Effective resistance to fungal diseases, such as powdery mildew, is an example of such a trait in oats. Marker-assisted selection is an important tool that reduces the time and cost of selection. The aims of the present study were the identification of dominant DArTseq markers associated with a new resistance gene, annotated as Pm11 and derived from Avena sterilis genotype CN113536, and the subsequent conversion of these markers into a PCR-based assay. Among the obtained 30,620 silicoDArT markers, 202 markers were highly associated with resistance in the analysed population. Of these, 71 were selected for potential conversion: 42 specific to resistant and 29 to susceptible individuals. Finally, 40 silicoDArT markers were suitable for primer design. From this pool, five markers, 3 for resistant and 2 for susceptible plants, were selected for product amplification in the expected groups. The developed method, based on 2 selection markers, provides certain identification of resistant and susceptible homozygotes. Also, the use of these markers allowed the determination of heterozygotes in the analysed population. Selected silicoDArT markers were also used for chromosomal localization of new resistance genes. Five out of 71 segregating silicoDArT markers for the Pm11 gene were found on the available consensus genetic map of oat. Five markers were placed on linkage groups corresponding to Mrg12 on the Avena sativa consensus map.
The chief aim of plant breeding is to improve varieties so as to increase their yield and breeding traits. One of the first stages of breeding is the selection of parental forms from the available gene pool of existing varieties. To date, costly and laborious methods based on multiple crossbreeding and phenotypic selection have been necessary to properly assess genetic resources in terms of productivity, quality parameters, and susceptibility to biotic and abiotic stressors. The often long and complicated breeding cycle can be significantly shortened through selection using DNA markers. To this end, use is made of close couplings between the marker and the locus responsible for the inheritance of the functional trait. The aim of this study was to identify single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and SilicoDArT markers associated with yield traits and to predict the heterosis effect for yield traits in maize (Zea mays L.). The plant material used in the research consisted of 19 inbred maize lines derived from different starting materials, and 13 hybrids resulting from crossing them. A two-year field experiment with inbred lines and hybrids was established at two Polish breeding stations on 10 m2 plots in a randomized block design with three replicates. The biometric measurements included cob length, cob diameter, core length, core diameter, number of rows of grain, number of grains in a row, mass of grain from the cob, weight of one thousand grains, and yield. The isolated DNA was subjected to DArTseq genotyping. Association mapping was performed in this study using a method based on the mixed linear model with the population structure estimated by eigenanalysis (principal component analysis of all markers) and modeled by random effects. Narew, Popis, Kozak, M Glejt, and Grom were the hybrids used in the study that showed the highest significant heterosis effect in 2013 and 2014. The similarity between parental components determined on the basis of SNP and SilicoDArT marker analysis did not exceed 33%. It was found that the genetic similarity between parental components, determined on the basis of SNP and SilicoDArT markers, reflected their degree of relationship, and correlated significantly with the effect of heterosis. As the results indicate, the parental components for heterosis crosses can be selected based on genetic similarity between parental components evaluated using SNP and SilicoDArT markers, supported with information on the origin of parental forms. Of the markers we analyzed, 76 were selected as being significantly associated with at least six traits observed in 2013 and 2014 at both the Łagiewniki and Smolice stations.
The South American arowanas (Osteoglossiformes, Osteoglossidae, Osteoglossum) are emblematic species widely distributed in the Amazon and surrounding basins. Arowana species are under strong anthropogenic pressure as they are extensively exploited for ornamental and food purposes. Until now, limited genetic and cytogenetic information has been available, with only a few studies reporting to their genetic diversity and population structure. In the present study, cytogenetic and DArTseq-derived single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data were used to investigate the genetic diversity of the two Osteoglossum species, the silver arowana O. bicirrhosum, and the black arowana O. ferreirai. Both species differ in their 2n (with 2n = 54 and 56 for O. ferreirai and O. bicirrhosum, respectively) and in the composition and distribution of their repetitive DNA content, consistent with their taxonomic status as different species. Our genetic dataset was coupled with contemporary and paleogeographic niche modeling, to develop concurrent demographic models that were tested against each other with a deep learning approach in O. bicirrhosum. Our genetic results reveal that O. bicirrhosum colonized the Tocantins-Araguaia basin from the Amazon basin about one million years ago. In addition, we highlighted a higher genetic diversity of O. bicirrhosum in the Amazon populations in comparison to those from the Tocantins-Araguaia basin.