Pilot-scale genome-wide association mapping in diverse sorghum germplasms identified novel genetic loci linked to major agronomic, root and stomatal traits.

Ramalingam AP, Mohanavel W, Kambale R, Rajagopalan VR, Marla SR, Prasad PVV, Muthurajan R, Perumal R

Published: 12 December 2023 in Scientific reports
Keywords: No keywords in Pubmed
Pubmed ID: 38081914
DOI: 10.1038/s41598-023-48758-2

This genome-wide association studies (GWAS) used a subset of 96 diverse sorghum accessions, constructed from a large collection of 219 accessions for mining novel genetic loci linked to major agronomic, root morphological and physiological traits. The subset yielded 43,452 high quality single nucleotide polymorphic (SNP) markers exhibiting high allelic diversity. Population stratification showed distinct separation between caudatum and durra races. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) decay was rapidly declining with increasing physical distance across all chromosomes. The initial 50% LD decay was ~ 5 Kb and background level was within ~ 80 Kb. This study detected 42 significant quantitative trait nucleotide (QTNs) for different traits evaluated using FarmCPU, SUPER and 3VmrMLM which were in proximity with candidate genes related and were co-localized in already reported quantitative trait loci (QTL) and phenotypic variance (R2) of these QTNs ranged from 3 to 20%. Haplotype validation of the candidate genes from this study resulted nine genes showing significant phenotypic difference between different haplotypes. Three novel candidate genes associated with agronomic traits were validated including Sobic.001G499000, a potassium channel tetramerization domain protein for plant height, Sobic.010G186600, a nucleoporin-related gene for dry biomass, and Sobic.002G022600 encoding AP2-like ethylene-responsive transcription factor for plant yield. Several other candidate genes were validated and associated with different root and physiological traits including Sobic.005G104100, peroxidase 13-related gene with root length, Sobic.010G043300, homologous to Traes_5BL_8D494D60C, encoding inhibitor of apoptosis with iWUE, and Sobic.010G125500, encoding zinc finger, C3HC4 type domain with Abaxial stomatal density. In this study, 3VmrMLM was more powerful than FarmCPU and SUPER for detecting QTNs and having more breeding value indicating its reliable output for validation. This study justified that the constructed subset of diverse sorghums can be used as a panel for mapping other key traits to accelerate molecular breeding in sorghum.

Kansas Agricultural Experiment Station 23-190-J