[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In sexually reproducing organisms, meiotic crossovers ensure the proper segregation of chromosomes and contribute to genetic diversity by shuffling allelic combinations. Such genetic reassortment is exploited in breeding to combine favorable alleles, and in genetic research to identify genetic factors underlying traits of interest via linkage or association-based approaches. Crossover numbers and distributions along chromosomes vary between species, but little is known about their intraspecies variation.
Here, we report on the variation of recombination rates between 22 European maize inbred lines that belong to the Dent and Flint gene pools. We genotype 23 doubled-haploid populations derived from crosses between these lines with a 50 k-SNP array and construct high-density genetic maps, showing good correspondence with the maize B73 genome sequence assembly. By aligning each genetic map to the B73 sequence, we obtain the recombination rates along chromosomes specific to each population. We identify significant differences in recombination rates at the genome-wide, chromosome, and intrachromosomal levels between populations, as well as significant variation for genome-wide recombination rates among maize lines. Crossover interference analysis using a two-pathway modeling framework reveals a negative association between recombination rate and interference strength.
To our knowledge, the present work provides the most comprehensive study on intraspecific variation of recombination rates and crossover interference strength in eukaryotes. Differences found in recombination rates will allow for selection of high or low recombining lines in crossing programs. Our methodology should pave the way for precise identification of genes controlling recombination rates in maize and other organisms.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomic selection (GS) is a promising alternative to marker-assisted selection particularly for quantitative traits. In this study, we examined the prediction accuracy of genomic breeding values by using ridge regression best linear unbiased prediction in combination with fivefold cross-validation based on empirical data of a commercial maize breeding programme. The empirical data is composed of 930 testcross progenies derived from 11 segregating families evaluated at six environments for grain yield and grain moisture. Accuracy to predict genomic breeding values was affected by the choice of the shrinkage parameter λ2, by unbalanced family size, by size of the training population and to a lower extent by the number of markers. Accuracy of genomic breeding values was high suggesting that the selection gain can be improved implementing GS in elite maize breeding programmes.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Association mapping has been proposed as an efficient approach to assist in the identification of the molecular basis of agronomical traits in plants. For this purpose, we analyzed the phenotypic and genetic diversity of a large collection of tomato accessions including 44 heirloom and vintage cultivars (Solanum lycopersicum), 127 S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme (cherry tomato) and 17 Solanum pimpinellifolium accessions. The accessions were genotyped using a SNPlex™ assay of 192 SNPs, among which 121 were informative for subsequent analysis. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) of pairwise loci and population structure were analyzed, and the association analysis between SNP genotypes and ten fruit quality traits was performed using a mixed linear model. High level of LD was found in the collection at the whole genome level. It was lower when considering only the 127 S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme accessions. Genetic structure analysis showed that the population was structured into two main groups, corresponding to cultivated and wild types and many intermediates. The number of associations detected per trait varied, according to the way the structure was taken into account, with 0-41 associations detected per trait in the whole collection and a maximum of four associations in the S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme accessions. A total of 40 associations (30 %) were co-localized with previously identified quantitative trait loci. This study thus showed the potential and limits of using association mapping in tomato populations.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 11/2012; · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Family mapping is based on multiple segregating families and is becoming increasingly popular because of its advantages over population mapping. Athough much progress has been made recently, the optimum design and allocation of resources for family mapping remains unclear. Here, we addressed these issues using a simulation study, resample model averaging and cross-validation approaches. Our results show that in family mapping, the predictive power and the accuracy of quatitative trait loci (QTL) detection depend greatly on the population size and phenotyping intensity. With small population sizes or few test environments, QTL results become unreliable and are hampered by a large bias in the estimation of the proportion of genotypic variance explained by the detected QTL. In addition, we observed that even though good results can be achieved with low marker densities, no plateau is reached with our full marker complement. This suggests that higher quality results could be achieved with greater marker densities or sequence data, which will be available in the near future for many species.Heredity advance online publication, 10 October 2012; doi:10.1038/hdy.2012.63.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome-wide association mapping is an efficient way to identify quantitative trait loci controlling the variation of phenotypes, but the approach suffers severe limitations when one is studying inbred crops like cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Such crops exhibit low rates of molecular polymorphism and high linkage disequilibrium, which reduces mapping resolution. The cherry type tomato (S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme) genome has been described as an admixture between the cultivated tomato and its wild ancestor, S. pimpinellifolium. We have thus taken advantage of the properties of this admixture to improve the resolution of association mapping in tomato. As a proof of concept, we sequenced 81 DNA fragments distributed on chromosome 2 at different distances in a core collection of 90 tomato accessions, including mostly cherry type tomato accessions. The 81 Sequence Tag Sites revealed 352 SNPs and indels. Molecular diversity was greatest for S. pimpinellifolium accessions, intermediate for S. l. cerasiforme accessions, and lowest for the cultivated group. We assessed the structure of molecular polymorphism and the extent of linkage disequilibrium over genetic and physical distances. Linkage disequilibrium decreased under r(2) = 0.3 within 1 cM, and minimal estimated value (r(2) = 0.13) was reached within 20 kb over the physical regions studied. Associations between polymorphisms and fruit weight, locule number, and soluble solid content were detected. Several candidate genes and quantitative trait loci previously identified were validated and new associations detected. This study shows the advantages of using a collection of S. l. cerasiforme accessions to overcome the low resolution of association mapping in tomato.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Flowering time is a fundamental quantitative trait in maize that has played a key role in the postdomestication process and the adaptation to a wide range of climatic conditions. Flowering time has been intensively studied and recent QTL mapping results based on diverse founders suggest that the genetic architecture underlying this trait is mainly based on numerous small-effect QTL. Here, we used a population of 684 progenies from five connected families to investigate the genetic architecture of flowering time in elite maize. We used a joint analysis and identified nine main effect QTL explaining approximately 50 % of the genotypic variation of the trait. The QTL effects were small compared with the observed phenotypic variation and showed strong differences between families. We detected no epistasis with the genetic background but four digenic epistatic interactions in a full 2-dimensional genome scan. Our results suggest that flowering time in elite maize is mainly controlled by main effect QTL with rather small effects but that epistasis may also contribute to the genetic architecture of the trait.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 07/2012; 125(7):1539-51. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent progress in genotyping and resequencing techniques have opened new opportunities for deciphering quantitative trait variation by looking for associations between traits of interest and polymorphisms in panels of diverse inbred lines. Association mapping raises specific issues related to the choice of appropriate (i) panels and marker-densities and (ii) statistical methods to capture associations. In this study, we used a panel of 314 maize inbred lines from the dent pool, composed of inbred material from public institutes (113 inbred lines) and a private company (201 inbred lines). We showed that local LD was higher and genetic diversity lower in the material of private origin than in the public material. We compared the results obtained by different software for identifying population structure and computing relatedness among lines, and ran association tests for earliness related traits. Our results confirmed the importance of the mite polymorphism of Vgt1 on flowering time, but also showed that its effect can be captured by zmRap2.7 polymorphisms located 70 kb apart. We also highlighted associations with polymorphisms within genes putatively involved in lignin biosynthesis pathway, which deserve further investigations.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 05/2012; 125(4):731-47. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Detection of QTL in multiple segregating families possesses many advantages over the classical QTL mapping in biparental populations. It has thus become increasingly popular, and different biometrical approaches are available to analyze such data sets. We empirically compared an approach based on linkage mapping methodology with an association mapping approach. To this end, we used a large population of 788 elite maize lines derived from six biparental families genotyped with 857 SNP markers. In addition, we constructed genetic maps with reduced marker densities to assess the dependency of the performance of both mapping approaches on the marker density. We used cross-validation and resample model averaging and found that while association mapping performed better under high marker densities, this was reversed under low marker densities. In addition to main effect QTL, we also detected epistatic interactions. Our results suggest that both approaches will profit from a further increase in marker density and that a cross-validation should be applied irrespective of the biometrical approach.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 05/2012; 125(5):987-98. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Estimating marker effects based on routinely generated phenotypic data of breeding programs is a cost-effective strategy to implement genomic selection. Truncation selection in breeding populations, however, could have a strong impact on the accuracy to predict genomic breeding values. The main objective of our study was to investigate the influence of phenotypic selection on the accuracy and bias of genomic selection. We used experimental data of 788 testcross progenies from an elite maize breeding program. The testcross progenies were evaluated in unreplicated field trials in ten environments and fingerprinted with 857 SNP markers. Random regression best linear unbiased prediction method was used in combination with fivefold cross-validation based on genotypic sampling. We observed a substantial loss in the accuracy to predict genomic breeding values in unidirectional selected populations. In contrast, estimating marker effects based on bidirectional selected populations led to only a marginal decrease in the prediction accuracy of genomic breeding values. We concluded that bidirectional selection is a valuable approach to efficiently implement genomic selection in applied plant breeding programs.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 04/2012; 125(4):707-13. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genomic selection is a promising breeding strategy for rapid improvement of complex traits. The objective of our study was to investigate the prediction accuracy of genomic breeding values through cross validation. The study was based on experimental data of six segregating populations from a half-diallel mating design with 788 testcross progenies from an elite maize breeding program. The plants were intensively phenotyped in multi-location field trials and fingerprinted with 960 SNP markers. We used random regression best linear unbiased prediction in combination with fivefold cross validation. The prediction accuracy across populations was higher for grain moisture (0.90) than for grain yield (0.58). The accuracy of genomic selection realized for grain yield corresponds to the precision of phenotyping at unreplicated field trials in 3-4 locations. As for maize up to three generations are feasible per year, selection gain per unit time is high and, consequently, genomic selection holds great promise for maize breeding programs.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 11/2011; 124(4):769-76. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) fruit, the number of locules (cavities containing seeds that are derived from carpels) varies from two to up to 10 or more. Locule number affects fruit shape and size and is controlled by several quantitative trait loci (QTLs). The large majority of the phenotypic variation is explained by two of these QTLs, fasciated (fas) and locule number (lc), that interact epistatically with one another. FAS has been cloned, and mutations in the gene are described as key factors leading to the increase in fruit size in modern varieties. Here, we report the map-based cloning of lc. The lc QTL includes a 1,600-bp region that is located 1,080 bp from the 3' end of WUSCHEL, which encodes a homeodomain protein that regulates stem cell fate in plants. The molecular evolution of lc showed a reduction of diversity in cultivated accessions with the exception of two single-nucleotide polymorphisms. These two single-nucleotide polymorphisms were shown to be responsible for the increase in locule number. An evolutionary model of locule number is proposed herein, suggesting that the fas mutation appeared after the mutation in the lc locus to confer the extreme high-locule-number phenotype.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The natural phenotypic variability present in the germplasm of cultivated plants can be linked to molecular polymorphisms using association genetics. However it is necessary to consider the genetic structure of the germplasm used to avoid false association. The knowledge of genetic structure of plant populations can help in inferring plant evolutionary history. In this context, we genotyped 360 wild, feral and cultivated accessions with 20 simple sequence repeat markers and investigated the extent and structure of the genetic variation. The study focused on the red fruited tomato clade involved in the domestication of tomato and confirmed the admixture status of cherry tomatoes (Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme). We used a nested sample strategy to set-up core collection maximizing the genetic diversity with a minimum of individuals.
Molecular diversity was considerably lower in S. lycopersicum i.e. the domesticated form. Model-based analysis showed that the 144 S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme accessions were structured into two groups: one close to the domesticated group and one resulting from the admixture of the S. lycopersicum and S. pimpinellifolium genomes. SSR genotyping also indicates that domesticated and wild tomatoes have evolved as a species complex with intensive level of hybridization. We compiled genotypic and phenotypic data to identify sub-samples of 8, 24, 32 and 64 cherry tomato accessions that captured most of the genetic and morphological diversity present in the entire S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme collection.
The extent and structure of allelic variation is discussed in relation to historical events like domestication and modern selection. The potential use of the admixed group of S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme for association genetics studies is also discussed. Nested core collections sampled to represent tomato diversity will be useful in diversity studies. Molecular and phenotypic variability of these core collections is defined. These collections are available for the scientific community and can be used as standardized panels for coordinating efforts on identifying novel interesting genes and on examining the domestication process in more detail.