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Sete Lagoas, Brazil

Gazaffi R.,Federal University of Sao Carlos | Margarido G.R.A.,University of Sao Paulo | Pastina M.M.,Nucleus of Applied Biology | Mollinari M.,University of Sao Paulo | Garcia A.A.F.,University of Sao Paulo
Tree Genetics and Genomes

Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping is an important approach for the study of the genetic architecture of quantitative traits. For perennial species, inbred lines cannot be obtained due to inbreed depression and a long juvenile period. Instead, linkage mapping can be performed by using a full-sib progeny. This creates a complex scenario because both markers and QTL alleles can have different segregation patterns as well as different linkage phases between them. We present a two-step method for QTL mapping using full-sib progeny based on composite interval mapping (i.e., interval mapping with cofactors), considering an integrated genetic map with markers with different segregation patterns and conditional probabilities obtained by a multipoint approach. The model is based on three orthogonal contrasts to estimate the additive effect (one in each parent) and dominance effect. These estimatives are obtained using the EM algorithm. In the first step, the genome is scanned to detect QTL. After, segregation pattern and linkage phases between QTL and markers are estimated. A simulated example is presented to validate the methodology. In general, the new model is more effective than existing approaches, because it can reveal QTL present in a full-sib progeny that segregates in any pattern present and can also identify dominance effects. Also, the inclusion of cofactors provided more statistical power for QTL mapping. © 2014 The Author(s). Source

Guimaraes C.T.,Nucleus of Applied Biology | Simoes C.C.,Federal University of Minas Gerais | Pastina M.M.,Nucleus of Applied Biology | Maron L.G.,Cornell University | And 10 more authors.
BMC Genomics

Background: Aluminum (Al) toxicity is an important limitation to food security in tropical and subtropical regions. High Al saturation on acid soils limits root development, reducing water and nutrient uptake. In addition to naturally occurring acid soils, agricultural practices may decrease soil pH, leading to yield losses due to Al toxicity. Elucidating the genetic and molecular mechanisms underlying maize Al tolerance is expected to accelerate the development of Al-tolerant cultivars.Results: Five genomic regions were significantly associated with Al tolerance, using 54,455 SNP markers in a recombinant inbred line population derived from Cateto Al237. Candidate genes co-localized with Al tolerance QTLs were further investigated. Near-isogenic lines (NILs) developed for ZmMATE2 were as Al-sensitive as the recurrent line, indicating that this candidate gene was not responsible for the Al tolerance QTL on chromosome 5, qALT5. However, ZmNrat1, a maize homolog to OsNrat1, which encodes an Al3+ specific transporter previously implicated in rice Al tolerance, was mapped at ~40 Mbp from qALT5. We demonstrate for the first time that ZmNrat1 is preferentially expressed in maize root tips and is up-regulated by Al, similarly to OsNrat1 in rice, suggesting a role of this gene in maize Al tolerance. The strongest-effect QTL was mapped on chromosome 6 (qALT6), within a 0.5 Mbp region where three copies of the Al tolerance gene, ZmMATE1, were found in tandem configuration. qALT6 was shown to increase Al tolerance in maize; the qALT6-NILs carrying three copies of ZmMATE1 exhibited a two-fold increase in Al tolerance, and higher expression of ZmMATE1 compared to the Al sensitive recurrent parent. Interestingly, a new source of Al tolerance via ZmMATE1 was identified in a Brazilian elite line that showed high expression of ZmMATE1 but carries a single copy of ZmMATE1.Conclusions: High ZmMATE1 expression, controlled either by three copies of the target gene or by an unknown molecular mechanism, is responsible for Al tolerance mediated by qALT6. As Al tolerant alleles at qALT6 are rare in maize, marker-assisted introgression of this QTL is an important strategy to improve maize adaptation to acid soils worldwide. © 2014 Guimaraes et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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