[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The identification of superior hybrids is important for the success of a hybrid breeding program. However, field evaluation of all possible crosses among inbred lines requires extremely large resources. Therefore, efforts have been made to predict hybrid performance (HP) by using field data of related genotypes and molecular markers. In the present study, the main objective was to assess the usefulness of pedigree information in combination with the covariance between general combining ability (GCA) and per se performance of parental lines for HP prediction. In addition, we compared the prediction efficiency of AFLP and SSR marker data, estimated marker effects separately for reciprocal allelic configurations (among heterotic groups) of heterozygous marker loci in hybrids, and imputed missing AFLP marker data for marker-based HP prediction. Unbalanced field data of 400 maize dent x flint hybrids from 9 factorials and of 79 inbred parents were subjected to joint analyses with mixed linear models. The inbreds were genotyped with 910 AFLP and 256 SSR markers. Efficiency of prediction (R (2)) was estimated by cross-validation for hybrids having no or one parent evaluated in testcrosses. Best linear unbiased prediction of GCA and specific combining ability resulted in the highest efficiencies for HP prediction for both traits (R (2) = 0.6-0.9), if pedigree and line per se data were used. However, without such data, HP for grain yield was more efficiently predicted using molecular markers. The additional modifications of the marker-based approaches had no clear effect. Our study showed the high potential of joint analyses of hybrids and parental inbred lines for the prediction of performance of untested hybrids.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 11/2009; 120(2):451-61. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The main objective of this study was to identify genomic regions involved in biomass heterosis using QTL, generation means, and mode-of-inheritance classification analyses. In a modified North Carolina Design III we backcrossed 429 recombinant inbred line and 140 introgression line populations to the two parental accessions, C24 and Col-0, whose F (1) hybrid exhibited 44% heterosis for biomass. Mid-parent heterosis in the RILs ranged from -31 to 99% for dry weight and from -58 to 143% for leaf area. We detected ten genomic positions involved in biomass heterosis at an early developmental stage, individually explaining between 2.4 and 15.7% of the phenotypic variation. While overdominant gene action was prevalent in heterotic QTL, our results suggest that a combination of dominance, overdominance and epistasis is involved in biomass heterosis in this Arabidopsis cross.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 07/2009; 120(2):227-37. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Libraries of near-isogenic lines (NILs) are a powerful plant genetic resource to map quantitative trait loci (QTL). Nevertheless, QTL mapping with NILs is mostly restricted to genetic main effects. Here we propose a two-step procedure to map additive-by-additive digenic epistasis with NILs. In the first step, a generation means analysis of parents, their F(1) hybrid, and one-segment NILs and their triple testcross (TTC) progenies is used to identify in a one-dimensional scan loci exhibiting QTL-by-background interactions. In a second step, one-segment NILs with significant additive-by-additive background interactions are used to produce particular two-segment NILs to test for digenic epistatic interactions between these segments. We evaluated our approach by analyzing a random subset of a genomewide Arabidopsis thaliana NIL library for growth-related traits. The results of our experimental study illustrated the potential of the presented two-step procedure to map additive-by-additive digenic epistasis with NILs. Furthermore, our findings suggested that additive main effects as well as additive-by-additive digenic epistasis strongly influence the genetic architecture underlying growth-related traits of A. thaliana.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Arabidopsis thaliana has emerged as a leading model species in plant genetics and functional genomics including research on the genetic causes of heterosis. We applied a triple testcross (TTC) design and a novel biometrical approach to identify and characterize quantitative trait loci (QTL) for heterosis of five biomass-related traits by (i) estimating the number, genomic positions, and genetic effects of heterotic QTL, (ii) characterizing their mode of gene action, and (iii) testing for presence of epistatic effects by a genomewide scan and marker x marker interactions. In total, 234 recombinant inbred lines (RILs) of Arabidopsis hybrid C24 x Col-0 were crossed to both parental lines and their F1 and analyzed with 110 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. QTL analyses were conducted using linear transformations Z1, Z2, and Z3 calculated from the adjusted entry means of TTC progenies. With Z1, we detected 12 QTL displaying augmented additive effects. With Z2, we mapped six QTL for augmented dominance effects. A one-dimensional genome scan with Z3 revealed two genomic regions with significantly negative dominance x additive epistatic effects. Two-way analyses of variance between marker pairs revealed nine digenic epistatic interactions: six reflecting dominance x dominance effects with variable sign and three reflecting additive x additive effects with positive sign. We conclude that heterosis for biomass-related traits in Arabidopsis has a polygenic basis with overdominance and/or epistasis being presumably the main types of gene action.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Epistasis seems to play a significant role in the manifestation of heterosis. However, the power of detecting epistatic interactions among quantitative trait loci (QTL) in segregating populations is low. We studied heterosis in Arabidopsis thaliana hybrid C24 x Col-0 by testing near-isogenic lines (NILs) and their triple testcross (TTC) progenies. Our objectives were to (i) provide the theoretical basis for estimating different types of genetic effects with this experimental design, (ii) determine the extent of heterosis for seven growth-related traits, (iii) map the underlying QTL, and (iv) determine their gene action. Two substitution libraries, each consisting of 28 NILs and covering approximately 61 and 39% of the Arabidopsis genome, were assayed by 110 single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. With our novel generation means approach 38 QTL were detected, many of which confirmed heterotic QTL detected previously in the same cross with TTC progenies of recombinant inbred lines. Furthermore, many of the QTL were common for different traits and in common with the 58 QTL detected by a method that compares triplets consisting of a NIL, its recurrent parent, and their F(1) cross. While the latter approach revealed mostly (75%) overdominant QTL, the former approach allowed separation of dominance and epistasis by analyzing all materials simultaneously and yielded substantial positive additive x additive effects besides directional dominance. Positive epistatic effects reduced heterosis for growth-related traits in our materials.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Primary causes of heterosis are still unknown. Our goal was to investigate the extent and underlying genetic causes of heterosis for five biomass-related traits in Arabidopsis thaliana. We (i) investigated the relative contribution of dominance and epistatic effects to heterosis in the hybrid C24 x Col-0 by generation means analysis and estimates of variance components based on a triple testcross (TTC) design with recombinant inbred lines (RILs), (ii) estimated the average degree of dominance, and (iii) examined the importance of reciprocal and maternal effects in this cross. In total, 234 RILs were crossed to parental lines and their F1's. Midparent heterosis (MPH) was high for rosette diameter at 22 days after sowing (DAS) and 29 DAS, growth rate (GR), and biomass yield (BY). Using the F2-metric, directional dominance prevailed for the majority of traits studied but reciprocal and maternal effects were not significant. Additive and dominance variances were significant for all traits. Additive x additive and dominance x dominance variances were significant for all traits but GR. We conclude that dominance as well as digenic and possibly higher-order epistatic effects play an important role in heterosis for biomass-related traits. Our results encourage the use of Arabidopsis hybrid C24 x Col-0 for identification and description of quantitative trait loci (QTL) for heterosis for biomass-related traits and further genomic studies.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A new large set of reciprocal recombinant inbred lines (RILs) was created between the Arabidopsis accessions Col-0 and C24 for quantitative trait mapping approaches, consisting of 209 Col-0 x C24 and 214 C24 x Col-0 F(7 )RI lines. Genotyping was performed using 110 evenly distributed framework single nucleotide polymorphism markers, yielding a genetic map of 425.70 cM, with an average interval of 3.87 cM. Segregation distortion (SD) was observed in several genomic regions during the construction of the genetic map. Linkage disequilibrium analysis revealed an association between a distorted region at the bottom of chromosome V and a non-distorted region on chromosome IV. A detailed analysis of the RILs for these two regions showed that an SD occurred when homozygous Col-0 alleles on chromosome IV coincided with homozygous C24 alleles at the bottom of chromosome V. Using nearly isogenic lines segregating for the distorted region we confirmed that this genotypic composition leads to reduced fertility and fitness.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 12/2006; 113(8):1551-61. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Dry matter (DM) content and quality parameters of maize grain are important traits in breeding of maize hybrids. New developments in near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) allow to determine DM content and product quality parameters directly on plot combine harvesters. The main objective of our study was to examine the potential of NIRS on combine harvester (NOCH) for determination of DM, crude protein (CP) and starch (ST) contents in maize grain. Plot combine harvesters equipped with spectrometers were used. Eleven locations were harvested in Europe during 2003 and 2004. The NOCH calibration models were developed with standard error of prediction (SEP) and coefficient of determination for validation (R) of 1.2% and 0.95 for DM, 0.3% and 0.88 for CP, and 1.0% and 0.79 for ST, respectively. NOCH is a promising technology for determination of DM, CP and ST contents of maize grain for breeding purposes, because it automates the assessment of each harvested plot, and the information for making selection decision is rapidly available to plan the next generation.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Intermated mapping populations are expected to result in high mapping resolution for tightly linked loci. The objectives of our study were to (1) investigate the consequences of constructing linkage maps from intermated populations using mapping methods developed for F(2) populations, (2) compare linkage maps constructed from intermated populations (F(2)Syn3) with maps generated from corresponding F(2) and F(3) base populations, and (3) investigate the advantages of intermated mapping populations for applications in plant breeding programs. We constructed linkage maps for two European flint maize populations (A x B, C x D) by mapping 105 SSR markers in generations F(2) and F(2)Syn3 of population A x B, and 102 SSR markers in generations F(3) and F(2)Syn3 of population C x D. Maps for F(2)Syn3 were constructed with mapping methods for F(2) populations (Map A) as well as with those specifically developed for intermated populations (Map B). Both methods relate map distances to recombination frequencies in a single meiosis and, therefore, did not show a map expansion in F(2)Syn3 compared with maps constructed from the respective F(2) or F(3) base populations. Map A and B differed considerably, presumably because of theoretical shortcomings of Map A. Since loosely linked markers could not unambiguously be mapped in the F(2)Syn3 populations, they may hamper the construction of linkage maps from intermated populations.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 10/2006; 113(5):857-66. · 3.66 Impact Factor