[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Root systems are critical for water and nutrient acquisition by crops. Current methods measuring root biomass and length are slow and labour-intensive for studying root responses to environmental stresses in the field. Here, we report the development of a method that measures changes in the root DNA concentration in soil and detects root responses to drought in controlled environment and field trials. To allow comparison of soil DNA concentrations from different wheat genotypes, we also developed a procedure for correcting genotypic differences in the copy number of the target DNA sequence. The new method eliminates the need for separation of roots from soil and permits large-scale phenotyping of root responses to drought or other environmental and disease stresses in the field.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying variation for flowering time in a doubled haploid (DH) population of vernalisation-responsive canola (Brassica napus L.) cultivars Skipton and Ag-Spectrum and aligned them with physical map positions of predicted flowering genes from the Brassica rapa genome. Significant genetic variation in flowering time and response to vernalisation were observed among the DH lines from Skipton/Ag-Spectrum. A molecular linkage map was generated comprising 674 simple sequence repeat, sequence-related amplified polymorphism, sequence characterised amplified region, Diversity Array Technology, and candidate gene based markers loci. QTL analysis indicated that flowering time is a complex trait and is controlled by at least 20 loci, localised on ten different chromosomes. These loci each accounted for between 2.4 and 28.6 % of the total genotypic variation for first flowering and response to vernalisation. However, identification of consistent QTL was found to be dependant upon growing environments. We compared the locations of QTL with the physical positions of predicted flowering time genes located on the sequenced genome of B. rapa. Some QTL associated with flowering time on A02, A03, A07, and C06 may represent homologues of known flowering time genes in Arabidopsis; VERNALISATION INSENSITIVE 3, APETALA1, CAULIFLOWER, FLOWERING LOCUS C, FLOWERING LOCUS T, CURLY LEAF, SHORT VEGETATIVE PHASE, GA3 OXIDASE, and LEAFY. Identification of the chromosomal location and effect of the genes influencing flowering time may hasten the development of canola varieties having an optimal time for flowering in target environments such as for low rainfall areas, via marker-assisted selection.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 09/2012; · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Blackleg, caused by Leptosphaeria maculans, is one of the most important diseases of oilseed and vegetable crucifiers worldwide. The present study describes (1) the construction of a genetic linkage map, comprising 255 markers, based upon simple sequence repeats (SSR), sequence-related amplified polymorphism, sequence tagged sites, and EST-SSRs and (2) the localization of qualitative (race-specific) and quantitative (race non-specific) trait loci controlling blackleg resistance in a doubled-haploid population derived from the Australian canola (Brassica napus L.) cultivars Skipton and Ag-Spectrum using the whole-genome average interval mapping approach. Marker regression analyses revealed that at least 14 genomic regions with LOD ≥ 2.0 were associated with qualitative and quantitative blackleg resistance, explaining 4.6-88.9 % of genotypic variation. A major qualitative locus, designated RlmSkipton (Rlm4), was mapped on chromosome A7, within 0.8 cM of the SSR marker Xbrms075. Alignment of the molecular markers underlying this QTL region with the genome sequence data of B. rapa L. suggests that RlmSkipton is located approximately 80 kb from the Xbrms075 locus. Molecular marker-RlmSkipton linkage was further validated in an F(2) population from Skipton/Ag-Spectrum. Our results show that SSR markers linked to consistent genomic regions are suitable for enrichment of favourable alleles for blackleg resistance in canola breeding programs.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 03/2012; 125(2):405-18. · 3.66 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A breeding objective for the malting barley industry is to produce lines with softer, plumper grain containing moderate protein content (9-12%) as they are more likely to imbibe water readily and contain more starch per grain, which in turn produces higher levels of malt extract. In a malting barley mapping population, 'Arapiles' × 'Franklin', the most significant and robust quantitative trait locus (QTL) for endosperm hardness was observed on the short arm of chromosome 1H, across three environments over two growing seasons. This accounted for 22.6% (Horsham 2000), 26.8% (Esperance 2001), and 12.0% (Tarranyurk 2001) of the genetic variance and significantly increased endosperm hardness by 2.06-3.03 SKCS hardness units. Interestingly, Arapiles and Franklin do not vary in Ha locus alleles. Therefore, this region, near the centromere on chromosome 1H, may be of great importance when aiming to manipulate endosperm hardness and malting quality. Interestingly, this region, close to the centromere on chromosome 1H, in our study, aligns with the region of the genome that includes the HvCslF9 and the HvGlb1 genes. Potentially, one or both of these genes could be considered to be candidate genes that influence endosperm hardness in the barley grain. Additional QTLs for endosperm hardness were detected on chromosomes 2H, 3H, 6H and 7H, confirming that the hardness trait in barley is complex and multigenic, similar to many malting quality traits of interest.
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 01/2011; 122(1):151-62. · 3.66 Impact Factor