Powdery mildew is a barley foliar disease that causes great loss in yield. Because of the limited number of effective resistance genes, efforts to identify new sources of resistance are frequently focused on genetically diversified landraces. The goal of this study was to characterise the powdery mildew resistance gene in barley line 2553-3 selected from the Moroccan landrace. Phytopathological testing against a set of differential pathogen isolates revealed different pattern responses of this gene from those of other known resistance genes. F2 and F2:3 (2553-3 × Manchuria) mapping populations were employed to investigate resistance inheritance. Two approaches were applied for the linkage analysis: in the first approach, 22 resistant and 21 susceptible homozygous F2 plants genotyped by the DArTseq platform (Diversity Arrays Technology, Pty. Ltd.) were used; in the second, 94 F2 plants were genotyped by converted DArTseq markers and SSRs. Both analyses delineated a new resistance gene on the short arm of chromosome 2H. The authors propose MlMor as a gene symbol for newly characterized powdery mildew resistance genes in barley line 255-3-3. The results presented herein provide a good foundation for the development of closer linkage markers and MAS breeding.
With just a handful of documented cases of hybridisation in cartilaginous fishes, shark hybridisation remains
poorly investigated. Small amounts of admixture have been detected between Galapagos (Carcharhinus galapagensis) and dusky (Carcharhinus obscurus) sharks previously, generating a hypothesis of ongoing hybridisation.
We sampled a large number of individuals from areas where the species co-occur (contact zones) across the
Pacific Ocean and used both mitochondrial and nuclear-encoded SNPs to examine genetic admixture and introgression between the two species. Using empirical analytical approaches and simulations, we first developed a
set of 1873 highly informative SNPs for these two species to evaluate the degree of admixture between them.
Overall, results indicate a high discriminatory power of nuclear SNPs (FST = 0.47, p < 0.05) between the two
species, unlike mitochondrial DNA (ΦST = 0.00 p > 0.05), which failed to differentiate these species. We
identified four hybrid individuals (∼1%) and detected bi-directional introgression between C. galapagensis and
C. obscurus in the Gulf of California along the east Pacific coast of the Americas. We emphasize the importance of
including a combination of mtDNA and diagnostic nuclear markers to properly assess species identification,
detect patterns of hybridisation, and better inform management and conservation of these sharks, especially
given the morphological similarities within the genus Carcharhinus
Recent advances in genomics have greatly increased research opportunities for non-model species. For wildlife, a growing availability of reference genomes means that population genetics is no longer restricted to a small set of anonymous loci. When used in conjunction with a reference genome, reduced-representation sequencing (RRS) provides a cost-effective method for obtaining reliable diversity information for population genetics. Many software tools have been developed to process RRS data, though few studies of non-model species incorporate genome alignment in calling loci. A commonly-used RRS analysis pipeline, Stacks, has this capacity and so it is timely to compare its utility with existing software originally designed for alignment and analysis of whole genome sequencing data. Here we examine population genetic inferences from two species for which reference-aligned reduced-representation data have been collected. Our two study species are a threatened Australian marsupial (Tasmanian devil Sarcophilus harrisii; declining population) and an Arctic-circle migrant bird (pink-footed goose Anser brachyrhynchus; expanding population). Analyses of these data are compared using Stacks versus two widely-used genomics packages, SAMtools and GATK. We also introduce a custom R script to improve the reliability of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) calls in all pipelines and conduct population genetic inferences for non-model species with reference genomes.
Kinship plays a fundamental role in the evolution of social systems and is considered a key driver of group living. To understand the role of kinship in the formation and maintenance of social bonds, accurate measures of genetic relatedness are critical. Genotype‐by‐sequencing technologies are rapidly advancing the accuracy and precision of genetic relatedness estimates for wild populations. The ability to assign kinship from genetic data varies depending on a species’ or population’s mating system and pattern of dispersal, and empirical data from longitudinal studies are crucial to validate these methods. We use data from a long‐term behavioural study of a polygynandrous, bisexually philopatric marine mammal to measure accuracy and precision of parentage and genetic relatedness estimation against a known partial pedigree. We show that with moderate but obtainable sample sizes of approximately 4,235 SNPs and 272 individuals, highly accurate parentage assignments and genetic relatedness coefficients can be obtained. Additionally, we subsample our data to quantify how data availability affects relatedness estimation and kinship assignment. Lastly, we conduct a social network analysis to investigate the extent to which accuracy and precision of relatedness estimation improve statistical power to detect an effect of relatedness on social structure. Our results provide practical guidance for minimum sample sizes and sequencing depth for future studies, as well as thresholds for post hoc interpretation of previous analyses.
Urban environments present some of the greatest challenges to species survival. This is particularly true for species that exhibit thermally sensitive traits, such as temperature-dependent sex determination (TSD). This is because urban environments not only present species with entirely novel ecosystems, but species will also experience increased temperatures. These temperature increases may result not only in offspring mortality, but also skewed population sex ratios. To persist in cities, urban dwellers with TSD will therefore need to adjust the temperature of the nesting environment, either through phenotypic plasticity or rapid evolution through natural selection. Here, we investigate the nesting ecology of a long-lived, urban dwelling reptile, the eastern water dragon (Intellagama lesueurii), to understand how a TSD species may respond to urban environments. Based on data collected from 72 nests over 2 nesting seasons, we show that city dragons not only dug significantly deeper nests than previously observed across their natural riparian habitat, but also nested in novel substrates. Furthermore, we observed a behaviour not previously described in this species, where mothers travel outside of their core home range to nest. This excursion behaviour potentially represents a greater maternal investment and is linked to the selection of specific microhabitats.
Catla catla (Hamilton) fertilised spawn was collected from the Halda, Jamuna and Padma rivers in Bangladesh from which approximately 900 individuals were retained as ‘candidate founders’ of a breeding population. These fish were fin-clipped and genotyped using the DArTseq platform to obtain, 3048 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 4726 silicoDArT markers. Using SNP data, individuals that shared no putative parents were identified using the program COLONY, i.e. 140, 47 and 23 from the Halda, Jamuna and Padma rivers, respectively. Allele frequencies from these individuals were considered as representative of those of the river populations, and genomic relationship matrices were generated. Then, half-sibling and full-sibling relationships between individuals were assigned manually based on the genomic relationship matrices. Many putative half-sibling and full-sibling relationships were found between individuals from the Halda and Jamuna rivers, which suggests that catla sampled from rivers as spawn are not necessarily representative of river populations. This has implications for the interpretation of past population genetics studies, the sampling strategies to be adopted in future studies and the management of broodstock sourced as river spawn in commercial hatcheries. Using data from individuals that shared no putative parents, overall multi-locus pairwise estimates of Wright’s fixation index (FST) were low (≤ 0.013) and the optimum number of clusters using unsupervised K-means clustering was equal to 1, which indicates little genetic divergence among the SNPs included in our study within and among river populations.
Recent decades have seen the emergence and spread of numerous infectious diseases, often with severe negative consequences for wildlife populations. Nevertheless, many populations survive the initial outbreaks, and even undergo recoveries. Unfortunately, the long‐term effects of these outbreaks on host population genetics are poorly understood; to increase this understanding, we examined the population genetics of two species of rainforest frogs (Litoria nannotis and Litoria serrata) that have largely recovered from a chytridiomycosis outbreak at two national parks in the Wet Tropics of northern Australia. At the wetter, northern park there was little evidence of decreased genetic diversity in either species, and all of the sampled sites had high minor allele frequencies (mean MAF = 0.230–0.235), high heterozygosity (0.318–0.325), and few monomorphic markers (1.4%–4.0%); however, some recovered L. nannotis populations had low Ne values (59.3–683.8) compared to populations that did not decline during the outbreak (1,537.4–1,756.5). At the drier, southern park, both species exhibited lower diversity (mean MAF = 0.084–0.180; heterozygosity = 0.126–0.257; monomorphic markers = 3.7%–43.5%; Ne = 18.4–676.1). The diversity patterns in this park matched habitat patterns, with both species having higher diversity levels and fewer closely related individuals at sites with higher quality habitat. These patterns were more pronounced for L. nannotis, which has lower dispersal rates than L. serrata. These results suggest that refugia with high quality habitat are important for retaining genetic diversity during disease outbreaks, and that gene flow following disease outbreaks is important for re‐establishing diversity in populations where it was reduced.
We compared the performance of two commonly used genotyping platforms, genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) and single nucleotide polymorphism-arrays (SNP), to investigate the extent and pattern of genetic variation within a collection of 1,000 diverse barley genotypes selected from the German Federal ex situ GenBank hosted at IPK Gatersleben. Each platform revealed equivalent numbers of robust bi-allelic SNPs (39,733 and 37,930 SNPs for the 50K SNP-array and GBS datasets respectively). A small overlap of 464 SNPs was common to both platforms, indicating that the methodologies we used selectively access informative polymorphism in different portions of the barley genome. Approximately half of the GBS dataset was comprised of SNPs with minor allele frequencies (MAFs) below 1%, illustrating the power of GBS to detect rare alleles in diverse germplasm collections. While desired for certain applications, the highly robust calling of alleles at the same SNPs across multiple populations is an advantage of the SNP-array, allowing direct comparisons of data from related or unrelated studies. Overall MAFs and diversity statistics (π) were higher for the SNP-array data, potentially reflecting the conscious removal of markers with a low MAF in the ascertainment population. A comparison of similarity matrices revealed a positive correlation between both approaches, supporting the validity of using either for entire GenBank characterization. To explore the potential of each dataset for focused genetic analyses we explored the outcomes of their use in genome-wide association scans for row type, growth habit and non-adhering hull, and discriminant analysis of principal components for the drivers of sub-population differentiation. Interpretation of the results from both types of analysis yielded broadly similar conclusions indicating that choice of platform used for such analyses should be determined by the research question being asked, group preferences and their capabilities to extract and interpret the different types of output data easily and quickly. Access to the requisite infrastructure for running, processing, analyzing, querying, storing, and displaying either datatype is an additional consideration. Our investigations reveal that for barley the cost per genotyping assay is less for SNP-arrays than GBS, which translates to a cost per informative datapoint being significantly lower for the SNP-array.
Tomato is a mild season crop and high temperature stress impacts productivity negatively. However, the development of cultivars with improved heat tolerance is possible as genetic variability has been consistently reported. This study aimed to identify candidate genes that impact various traits under heat stress. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were conducted on a diverse set of 144 tomato genotypes collected from various germplasm centers and breeding programs. The genotypes were grown under control and heat stress in poly tunnels having mean temperatures of 30°C and 45°C for two seasons and phenotypic data were collected on seven agro-physiological traits. All individuals were genotyped withthe80K DArTseq platform using 31237 SNP markers. Data were analysed using a mixed model based on restricted maximum likelihood (REML). Pattern analysis of the phenotypic data showed five primary clusters each with genotypes from multiple origins. Based on the genotypic data, three wild tomato genotypes showed a degree of un-relatedness with the other materials as they were distantly located from the rest of the genotypes in the scatter plot. Control treatment data were used to ascertain markers that are exclusively important under high temperature stress. A large number of markers were significantly associated with various traits under heat stress. These included strong marker associations for number of inflorescence/plant (IPP), number of flowers/inflorescence (FPI), fresh fruit weight (FFrW), and electrolyte leakage (EL). High association with EL was found due to two SNPs 7858523|F|0-25:G > A-25:G > A and 4705224|F|0-60:C > G-60:C > G located on Chr 6. Other less pronounced marker-trait associations were observed for plant dry weight (PDW), and number of fruit/plant (FrPP).
Genetic resistance to net form of net blotch in the international barley differential Canadian Lake Shore (CLS) was characterized and mapped. A doubled haploid (DH) population generated from a cross between CLS and susceptible cultivar Harrington was evaluated at the seedling stage using eight diverse Pyrenophora teres f. teres (Ptt) isolates and at the adult stage in the field using natural inoculum. To effectively map the CLS resistance, comparative marker frequency analysis (MFA) was performed using 8,762 polymorphic DArT-seq markers, where ‘resistant’ and ‘susceptible’ groups each comprised 40 DH lines displaying the most extreme phenotypes. Five DArTseq markers were consistently detected in eight disease assays, which was designated qPttCLS and deemed to harbor the locus underpinning CLS resistance. Four of these markers were present onto the barley DArTseq physical map and spans a region between 398203862 and 435526243 bp which were found to consist several genes involved in important plant functions such as disease response and signaling pathways. While MFA only detected the 3H region, genetic analyses based on segregation patterns were inconsistent, suggesting complex inheritance or variation in phenotypic expression of qPttCLS, particularly in the field. This study represents progress toward connecting Ptt pathotype surveys with the corresponding resistance genes in barley differentials. The markers associated with qPttCLS are useful for marker-assisted selection in breeding programs.