[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: With the aim of identifying rice (Oryza spp.) germplasm having enhanced grain nutritional value, the mineral nutrient and trace element concentrations (or ionome) of whole (unmilled) grains from a set of 1763 rice accessions of diverse geographic and genetic origin were evaluated. Seed for analysis of P, Mg, K, S, Ca, As, Cd, Co, Cu, Fe, Mn, Mo, Ni, Rb, Sr, and Zn concentrations by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry was produced over 2 yr in Beaumont, TX, under both flooded and unflooded watering regimes. The distributions of all element concentrations analyzed were skewed toward higher concentration. A significant portion of this ionomic variation has a genetic basis (broad sense heritabilities 0.14–0.75), indicating an ability to breed for improved grain concentration of all elements except possibly Ni. Variation in grain elemental concentrations was not strongly associated with plant height, heading time, or grain shape, suggesting these physiological factors are not of primary importance in controlling ionomic variation in rice grain. Accessions high in specific elements were sometimes found to have similar genetic or geographic origins, suggesting they share a heritable mechanism underlying their enhanced ionomes. For example, accessions with high Ca, Mg, or K were more common in the indica than in the japonica subgroup; low As was most common among temperate japonica accessions; and several lines high in Mo originated in Malaysia or adjacent Brunei.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Natural variation allows the investigation of both the fundamental functions of genes and their role in local adaptation. As one of the essential macronutrients, sulfur is vital for plant growth and development, and also for crop yield and quality. Selenium and sulfur are assimilated by the same process, and although plants do not require selenium, plant-based selenium is an important source of this essential element for animals. Here, we report the use of linkage mapping in synthetic F2 populations, and complementation to investigate the genetic architecture of variation in total leaf sulfur and selenium concentrations in a diverse set of Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. We identify in accessions collected from Sweden and the Czech Republic two variants of the enzyme adenosine 5'-phosphosulfate reductase 2 (APR2) with strongly diminished catalytic capacity. APR2 is a key enzyme in both sulfate and selenate reduction and its reduced activity in the loss-of-function allele apr2-1 and the two A. thaliana accessions Hodonín (Hod) and Shahdara (Sha), leads to a lowering of sulfur flux from sulfate into the reduced sulfur compounds, cysteine and glutathione, and into proteins, concomitant with an increase in the accumulation of sulfate in leaves. We conclude from our observation, and the previously identified weak allele of APR2 from the Sha accession collected in Tadjikistan, that the catalytic capacity of APR2 varies by four orders of magnitude across the A. thaliana species range, driving significant differences in sulfur and selenium metabolism. The selective benefit, if any, of this large variation remains to be explored.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The mineral concentrations in cereals are important for human health, especially for individuals who consume a cereal subsistence diet. A number of elements, such as zinc, are required within the diet, while some elements are toxic to humans, for example arsenic. In this study we carry out genome-wide association (GWA) mapping of grain concentrations of arsenic, copper, molybdenum and zinc in brown rice using an established rice diversity panel of ∼300 accessions and 36.9 k single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). The study was performed across five environments: one field site in Bangladesh, one in China and two in the US, with one of the US sites repeated over two years. GWA mapping on the whole dataset and on separate subpopulations of rice revealed a large number of loci significantly associated with variation in grain arsenic, copper, molybdenum and zinc. Seventeen of these loci were detected in data obtained from grain cultivated in more than one field location, and six co-localise with previously identified quantitative trait loci. Additionally, a number of candidate genes for the uptake or transport of these elements were located near significantly associated SNPs (within 200 kb, the estimated global linkage disequilibrium previously employed in this rice panel). This analysis highlights a number of genomic regions and candidate genes for further analysis as well as the challenges faced when mapping environmentally-variable traits in a highly genetically structured diversity panel.
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QTLs controlling the concentrations elements in rice grain were identified in two mapping populations. The QTLs were clustered such that most genomic regions were associated with more than one element. In this study, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) affecting the concentrations of 16 elements in whole, unmilled rice (Oryza sativa L.) grain were identified. Two rice mapping populations, the ‘Lemont’ × ‘TeQing’ recombinant inbred lines (LT-RILs), and the TeQing-into-Lemont backcross introgression lines (TILs) were used. To increase opportunity to detect and characterize QTLs, the TILs were grown under two contrasting field conditions, flooded and irrigated-but-unflooded. Correlations between the individual elements and between each element with grain shape, plant height, and time of heading were also studied. Transgressive segregation was observed among the LT-RILs for all elements. The 134 QTLs identified as associated with the grain concentrations of individual elements were found clustered into 39 genomic regions, 34 of which were found associated with grain element concentration in more than one population and/or flooding treatment. More QTLs were found significant among flooded TILs (92) than among unflooded TILs (47) or among flooded LT-RILs (40). Twenty-seven of the 40 QTLs identified among the LT-RILs were associated with the same element among the TILs. At least one QTL per element was validated in two or more population/environments. Nearly all of the grain element loci were linked to QTLs affecting additional elements, supporting the concept of element networks within plants. Several of the grain element QTLs co-located with QTLs for grain shape, plant height, and days to heading; but did not always differ for grain elemental concentration as predicted by those traits alone. A number of interesting patterns were found, including a strong Mg–P–K complex.
Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Theoretical and Applied Genetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Genome duplication (or polyploidization) has occurred throughout plant evolutionary history and is thought to have driven the adaptive radiation of plants. We found that the cytotype of the root, and not the genotype, determined the majority of heritable natural variation in the concentration of leaf potassium (K) in Arabidopsis thaliana. Autopolyploidy also provided resistance to salinity and may represent an adaptive outcome of the enhanced K accumulation of plants with higher ploidy.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large-scale phenotyping methods are at the heart of efficiently deciphering the functions of genes and gene networks in the postgenomic era. In order to obtain meaningful results when comparing natural variants, and mutants and wild-types during large-scale quantitative analyses, necessary precautions must be employed throughout the whole process. Here, we describe large-scale elemental profiling in Arabidopsis thaliana and other genetic model organisms using high-throughput analytical methodologies. We also include a description of workflow management and data storage systems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Understanding the mechanism of cadmium (Cd) accumulation in plants is important to help reduce its potential toxicity to both plants and humans through dietary and environmental exposure. Here, we report on a study to uncover the genetic basis underlying natural variation in Cd accumulation in a world-wide collection of 349 wild collected Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. We identified a 4-fold variation (0.5-2 µg Cd g(-1) dry weight) in leaf Cd accumulation when these accessions were grown in a controlled common garden. By combining genome-wide association mapping, linkage mapping in an experimental F2 population, and transgenic complementation, we reveal that HMA3 is the sole major locus responsible for the variation in leaf Cd accumulation we observe in this diverse population of A. thaliana accessions. Analysis of the predicted amino acid sequence of HMA3 from 149 A. thaliana accessions reveals the existence of 10 major natural protein haplotypes. Association of these haplotypes with leaf Cd accumulation and genetics complementation experiments indicate that 5 of these haplotypes are active and 5 are inactive, and that elevated leaf Cd accumulation is associated with the reduced function of HMA3 caused by a nonsense mutation and polymorphisms that change two specific amino acids.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In order to grow on soils that vary widely in chemical composition, plants have evolved mechanisms for regulating the elemental composition of their tissues to balance the mineral nutrient and trace element bioavailability in the soil with the requirements of the plant for growth and development. The biodiversity that exists within a species can be utilized to investigate how regulatory mechanisms of individual elements interact and to identify genes important for these processes. We analyzed the elemental composition (ionome) of a set of 96 wild accessions of the genetic model plant Arabidopsis thaliana grown in hydroponic culture and soil using inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS). The concentrations of 17-19 elements were analyzed in roots and leaves from plants grown hydroponically, and leaves and seeds from plants grown in artificial soil. Significant genetic effects were detected for almost every element analyzed. We observed very few correlations between the elemental composition of the leaves and either the roots or seeds. There were many pairs of elements that were significantly correlated with each other within a tissue, but almost none of these pairs were consistently correlated across tissues and growth conditions, a phenomenon observed in several previous studies. These results suggest that the ionome of a plant tissue is variable, yet tightly controlled by genes and gene × environment interactions. The dataset provides a valuable resource for mapping studies to identify genes regulating elemental accumulation. All of the ionomic data is available at www.ionomicshub.org.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: • Inorganic arsenic (As(i) ) in rice (Oryza sativa) grains is a possible threat to human health, with risk being strongly linked to total dietary rice consumption and consumed rice As(i) content. This study aimed to identify the range and stability of genetic variation in grain arsenic (As) in rice. • Six field trials were conducted (one each in Bangladesh and China, two in Arkansas, USA over 2 yr, and two in Texas, USA comparing flooded and nonflood treatments) on a large number of common rice cultivars (c. 300) representing genetic diversity among international rice cultivars. • Within each field there was a 3-34 fold range in grain As concentration which varied between rice subpopulations. Importantly, As(i) correlated strongly with total As among a subset of 40 cultivars harvested in Bangladesh and China. • Genetic variation at all field sites was a large determining factor for grain As concentration, indicating that cultivars low in grain As could be developed through breeding. The temperate japonicas exhibited lower grain As compared with other subpopulations. Effects for year, location and flooding management were also statistically significant, suggesting that breeding strategies must take into account environmental factors.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The genetic model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, like many plant species, experiences a range of edaphic conditions across its natural habitat. Such heterogeneity may drive local adaptation, though the molecular genetic basis remains elusive. Here, we describe a study in which we used genome-wide association mapping, genetic complementation, and gene expression studies to identify cis-regulatory expression level polymorphisms at the AtHKT1;1 locus, encoding a known sodium (Na(+)) transporter, as being a major factor controlling natural variation in leaf Na(+) accumulation capacity across the global A. thaliana population. A weak allele of AtHKT1;1 that drives elevated leaf Na(+) in this population has been previously linked to elevated salinity tolerance. Inspection of the geographical distribution of this allele revealed its significant enrichment in populations associated with the coast and saline soils in Europe. The fixation of this weak AtHKT1;1 allele in these populations is genetic evidence supporting local adaptation to these potentially saline impacted environments.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Controlling elemental composition is critical for plant growth and development as well as the nutrition of humans who utilize plants for food. Uncovering the genetic architecture underlying mineral ion homeostasis in plants is a critical first step towards understanding the biochemical networks that regulate a plant's elemental composition (ionome). Natural accessions of Arabidopsis thaliana provide a rich source of genetic diversity that leads to phenotypic differences. We analyzed the concentrations of 17 different elements in 12 A. thaliana accessions and three recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations grown in several different environments using high-throughput inductively coupled plasma- mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS). Significant differences were detected between the accessions for most elements and we identified over a hundred QTLs for elemental accumulation in the RIL populations. Altering the environment the plants were grown in had a strong effect on the correlations between different elements and the QTLs controlling elemental accumulation. All ionomic data presented is publicly available at www.ionomicshub.org.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Root architecture differences have been linked to the survival of plants on phosphate (P)-deficient soils, as well as to the improved yields of P-efficient crop cultivars. To understand how these differences arise, we have studied the root architectures of P-deficient Arabidopsis (Arabidopsis thaliana Columbia-0) plants. A striking aspect of the root architecture of these plants is that their primary root elongation is inhibited when grown on P-deficient medium. Here, we present evidence suggesting that this inhibition is a result of iron (Fe) toxicity. When the Fe concentration in P-deficient medium is reduced, we observe elongation of the primary root without an increase in P availability or a corresponding change in the expression of P deficiency-regulated genes. Recovery of the primary root elongation is associated with larger plant weights, improved ability to take up P from the medium, and increased tissue P content. This suggests that manipulating Fe availability to a plant could be a valuable strategy for improving a plant's ability to tolerate P deficiency.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Plants are sessile and therefore have developed mechanisms to adapt to their environment, including the soil mineral nutrient composition. Ionomics is a developing functional genomic strategy designed to rapidly identify the genes and gene networks involved in regulating how plants acquire and accumulate these mineral nutrients from the soil. Here, we report on the coupling of high-throughput elemental profiling of shoot tissue from various Arabidopsis accessions with DNA microarray-based bulk segregant analysis and reverse genetics, for the rapid identification of genes from wild populations of Arabidopsis that are involved in regulating how plants acquire and accumulate Na(+) from the soil. Elemental profiling of shoot tissue from 12 different Arabidopsis accessions revealed that two coastal populations of Arabidopsis collected from Tossa del Mar, Spain, and Tsu, Japan (Ts-1 and Tsu-1, respectively), accumulate higher shoot levels of Na(+) than do Col-0 and other accessions. We identify AtHKT1, known to encode a Na(+) transporter, as being the causal locus driving elevated shoot Na(+) in both Ts-1 and Tsu-1. Furthermore, we establish that a deletion in a tandem repeat sequence approximately 5 kb upstream of AtHKT1 is responsible for the reduced root expression of AtHKT1 observed in these accessions. Reciprocal grafting experiments establish that this loss of AtHKT1 expression in roots is responsible for elevated shoot Na(+). Interestingly, and in contrast to the hkt1-1 null mutant, under NaCl stress conditions, this novel AtHKT1 allele not only does not confer NaCl sensitivity but also cosegregates with elevated NaCl tolerance. We also present all our elemental profiling data in a new open access ionomics database, the Purdue Ionomics Information Management System (PiiMS; http://www.purdue.edu/dp/ionomics). Using DNA microarray-based genotyping has allowed us to rapidly identify AtHKT1 as the casual locus driving the natural variation in shoot Na(+) accumulation we observed in Ts-1 and Tsu-1. Such an approach overcomes the limitations imposed by a lack of established genetic markers in most Arabidopsis accessions and opens up a vast and tractable source of natural variation for the identification of gene function not only in ionomics but also in many other biological processes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Whole genome duplication can create polyploids, individuals with three or more chromosome sets. Polyploidy is known to have occurred throughout plant lineages and is hypothesized to have driven adaptive radiation though the mechanism is unclear. A number of independent genome duplication events are estimated to have occurred at the Cretaceous–Tertiary (KT) boundary, which is associated with the impact of a large meteorite 65 MYA and many others, including yeast, are estimated to be 200 MYA. Polyploidy may have provided an advantage during the period of extreme environmental instability and mass extinction following this meteorite impact (Fawcetta et al., 2009). Data mining of the ionomic profiles of Arabidopsis accessions identified Wa-1, a wild caught tetraploid, as the highest potassium accumulator. Using a RIL population developed from the interploidy cross Col x Wa-1 and multiple wild-caught and laboratory-induced autopolyploids we have demonstrated that polyploidy increases shoot potassium accumulation, as well other symplastically transported ions. Via reciprocal grafting experiments and mutants with altered root development we have demonstrated that shoot potassium levels are controlled by changes in root ploidy and that changes in root cell size are sufficient to recapitulate this phenotype. While tetraploid Arabidopsis is typically less fecund, the alteration in tetraploid physiology is sufficient to provide a fitness advantage to tetraploid Arabidopsis accessions under low potassium. In addition, the lines exhibit lower sodium accumulation and better K/Na ratio under sodium stress. Thus, tetraploidy provides an environmentally contingent fitness advantage over diploidy. Previously increased resistance to salinity in yeast and citrus (Saleh et al., 2008; Dhar et al., 2011), and water stress in plum and paper birch (Pustovoitova et al., 1996; Li et al., 1996) have been noted. A vast continental saline desert occurred over much of Pangea, which finally broke up 192 MYA, coinciding with some estimates for whole genome duplications. It is possible that salinity tolerance and edaphic selection, rather than genomic organization and “evolvabilty”, may have played a role in the widespread distribution of polyploidy in plants.