Sorghum Association Panel whole-genome sequencing establishes cornerstone resource for dissecting genomic diversity.

Boatwright JL, Sapkota S, Jin H, Schnable JC, Brenton Z, Boyles R, Kresovich S

Published: 3 June 2022 in The Plant journal : for cell and molecular biology
Keywords: Sorghum bicolor, copy-number variants, diversity panel, genome-wide association studies, genomic prediction, genotyping-by-sequencing, pan-genome, pleiotropy, selection signatures, whole-genome sequencing
Pubmed ID: 35653240
DOI: 10.1111/tpj.15853

Association mapping panels represent foundational resources for understanding the genetic basis of phenotypic diversity and serve to advance plant breeding by exploring genetic variation across diverse accessions. We report the whole-genome sequencing (WGS) of 400 sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench) accessions from the Sorghum Association Panel (SAP) at an average coverage of 38× (25-72×), enabling the development of a high-density genomic marker set of 43 983 694 variants including single-nucleotide polymorphisms (approximately 38 million), insertions/deletions (indels) (approximately 5 million), and copy number variants (CNVs) (approximately 170 000). We observe slightly more deletions among indels and a much higher prevalence of deletions among CNVs compared to insertions. This new marker set enabled the identification of several novel putative genomic associations for plant height and tannin content, which were not identified when using previous lower-density marker sets. WGS identified and scored variants in 5-kb bins where available genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) data captured no variants, with half of all bins in the genome falling into this category. The predictive ability of genomic best unbiased linear predictor (GBLUP) models was increased by an average of 30% by using WGS markers rather than GBS markers. We identified 18 selection peaks across subpopulations that formed due to evolutionary divergence during domestication, and we found six Fst peaks resulting from comparisons between converted lines and breeding lines within the SAP that were distinct from the peaks associated with historic selection. This population has served and continues to serve as a significant public resource for sorghum research and demonstrates the value of improving upon existing genomic resources.

Department of Energy - Advanced Research Project Agency DE-AR0001134
U.S. Department of Energy - Office of Science (BER) DE-SC0020355