Unraveling the genetic basis of hybrid vigor

Division of Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, 65211, USA.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (Impact Factor: 9.81). 09/2006; 103(35):12957-8. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.0605627103
Source: PubMed
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    ABSTRACT: Andrographolides, the diterpene lactones, are major bioactive phytochemicals which could be found in different parts of the medicinal herb Andrographis paniculata. A number of such compounds namely andrographolide (AG), neoandrographolide (NAG), and 14-deoxy-11,12-didehydroandrographolide (DDAG) have already attracted a great deal of attention due to their potential therapeutic effects in hard-to-treat diseases such as cancers and HIV. Recently, they have also been considered as substrates for the discovery of novel pharmaceutical compounds. Nevertheless, there is still a huge gap in knowledge on the genetic pattern of the biosynthesis of these bioactive compounds. Hence, the present study aimed to investigate the genetic mechanisms controlling the biosynthesis of these phytochemicals using a diallel analysis. The high performance liquid chromatography analysis of the three andrographolides in 210 F1 progenies confirmed that the biosynthesis of these andrographolides was considerably increased via intraspecific hybridization. The results revealed high, moderate and low heterosis for DDAG, AG and NAG, respectively. Furthermore, the preponderance of non-additive gene actions was affirmed in the enhancement of the three andrographolides contents. The consequence of this type of gene action was the occurrence of high broad-sense and low narrow-sense heritabilities for the above mentioned andrographolides. The prevalence of non-additive gene action suggests the suitability of heterosis breeding and hybrid seed production as a preferred option to produce new plant varieties with higher andrographolide contents using the wild accessions of A. paniculata. Moreover, from an evolutionary point of view, the occurrence of population bottlenecks in the Malaysian accessions of A. paniculata was unveiled by observing a low level of additive genetic variance (VA ) for all the andrographolides.
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    ABSTRACT: The effect of epistasis between linked genes on quantitative trait locus (QTL) analysis was studied as a function of their contribution to the phenotypic variance and their genetic distance by simulation of F2 (at least 200 individuals) and recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations. Data sets were replicated 100 times. For F2 populations, the presence of epistasis improves the detection of QTLs having effects in opposite directions. Epistasis between linked QTLs (26.5 cM) was poorly detected even when its contribution was relatively high compared to the main effects, and was null for heritabilities lower than 0.10. The detection of false-positive main effects is strongly affected by the distance between epistatic QTLs. The closer they are (a parts per thousand currency sign11.5 cM), the higher the probability of detecting false-positive main-effect QTLs and the lower the probability of detecting epistatic effects. In this case, the presence of main-effect QTLs is due to the deviation of the heterozygote from the homozygotes at each linked interacting QTL and is algebraically explained by the joint effect of the linkage and the additive-by-additive interaction, resulting in a heterosis at a single genomic region in the absence of simulated dominant genetic effects. The number of false-positive main effects only reached nominal levels at about 100 cM. For RIL populations, the number of false positives or the detection of existing epistasis does not depend on the distance, and the power to detect epistatic QTLs is much higher even with small sample sizes and low contributions to the trait. RIL populations are highly recommended to detect epistatic QTLs and to better infer the genetic architecture of a quantitative trait.
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    ABSTRACT: The genomic makeup and phenotypes of plants are diversifying, in part due to artificial or natural selection in agricultural and natural environments. Utilization of these variations to enhance crop productivity requires an understanding of the relationships between genotype and phenotype in inbreds and hybrids derived from crosses between these populations. This review highlights recent studies on hybrid vigor (heterosis) and the related phenomenon of hybrid weakness - two types of non-additive inheritance. Heterosis is a phenomenon whereby the phenotype of first-generation hybrids is superior to that of their parents. Intralocus interactions between alleles, complementation of dominant alleles, or inter-loci epistatic interactions are genetic mechanisms that may cause non-additive phenotypic inheritance in hybrids. However, there are different views on what portion of the heterotic variation is modulated by each of these mechanisms. Another aspect of plant vigor is phenotypic stability or robustness in different environments and how this is influenced by gene heterozygosity. Hybrids are not necessarily more phenotypically stable than inbreds since local heterozygosity might be associated with negative effects on biochemical activities. This review integrates genetic and biochemical considerations to illustrate how these relationships may be tightly linked with breeding system and sequence divergence.
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