Articles written in Journal of Genetics

    • Wheat kernel dimensions: how do they contribute to kernel weight at an individual QTL level?

      Fa Cui Anming Ding Jun Li Chunhua Zhao Xingfeng Li Deshun Feng Xiuqin Wang Lin Wang Jurong Gao Honggang Wang

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      Kernel dimensions (KD) contribute greatly to thousand-kernel weight (TKW) in wheat. In the present study, quantitative trait loci (QTL) for TKW, kernel length (KL), kernel width (KW) and kernel diameter ratio (KDR) were detected by both conditional and unconditional QTL mapping methods. Two related F8:9 recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations, comprising 485 and 229 lines, respectively, were used in this study, and the trait phenotypes were evaluated in four environments. Unconditional QTL mapping analysis detected 77 additive QTL for four traits in two populations. Of these, 24 QTL were verified in at least three trials, and five of them were major QTL, thus being of great value for marker assisted selection in breeding programmes. Conditional QTL mapping analysis, compared with unconditional QTL mapping analysis, resulted in reduction in the number of QTL for TKW due to the elimination of TKW variations caused by its conditional traits; based on which we first dissected genetic control system involved in the synthetic process between TKW and KD at an individual QTL level. Results indicated that, at the QTL level, KW had the strongest influence on TKW, followed by KL, and KDR had the lowest level contribution to TKW. In addition, the present study proved that it is not all-inclusive to determine genetic relationships of a pairwise QTL for two related/causal traits based on whether they were co-located. Thus, conditional QTL mapping method should be used to evaluate possible genetic relationships of two related/causal traits.

    • Conditional QTL mapping of protein content in wheat with respect to grain yield and its components

      Lin Wang Fa Cui Jinping Wang Li Jun Anming Ding Chunhua Zhao Xingfeng Li Deshun Feng Jurong Gao Honggang Wang

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      Grain protein content in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is generally considered a highly heritable character that is negatively correlated with grain yield and yield-related traits. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) for protein content was mapped using data on protein content and protein content conditioned on the putatively interrelated traits to evaluate possible genetic interrelationships between protein content and yield, as well as yield-related traits. Phenotypic data were evaluated in a recombinant inbred line population with 302 lines derived from a cross between the Chinese cultivar Weimai 8 and Luohan 2. Inclusive composite interval mapping using IciMapping 3.0 was employed for mapping unconditional and conditional QTL with additives. A strong genetic relationship was found between protein content and grain yield, and yield-related traits. Unconditional QTL mapping analysis detected seven additive QTL for protein content, with additive effects ranging in absolute size from 0.1898% to 0.3407% protein content, jointly accounting for 43.45% of the trait variance. Conditional QTL mapping analysis indicated two QTL independent from yield, which can be used in marker-assisted selection for increasing yield without affecting grain protein content. Three additional QTL with minor effects were identified in the conditional mapping. Of the three QTLs, two were identified when protein content was conditioned on yield, which had pleiotropic effects on those two traits. Conditional QTL mapping can be used to dissect the genetic interrelationship between two traits at the individual QTL level for closely correlated traits. Further, conditional QTL mapping can reveal additional QTL with minor effects that are undetectable in unconditional mapping.

    • Conditional and unconditional QTL mapping of drought-tolerance-related traits of wheat seedling using two related RIL populations

      Hong Zhang Fa Cui Lin Wang Jun Li Anming Ding Chunhua Zhao Yinguang Bao Qiuping Yang Honggang Wang

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      For discovering the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) contributing to early seedling growth and drought tolerance during germination, conditional and unconditional analyses of 12 traits of wheat seedlings: coleoptile length, seedling height, longest root length, root number, seedling fresh weight, stem and leaves fresh weight, root fresh weight, seedling dry weight, stem and leaves dry weight, root dry weight, root to shoot fresh weight ratio, root-to-shoot dry weight ratio, were conducted under two water conditions using two F8:9 recombinant inbred line (RIL) populations. The results of unconditional analysis are as follows: 88 QTLs accounting for 3.33–77.01% of the phenotypic variations were detected on chromosomes 1A, 1B, 1D, 2A, 2B, 2D, 3A, 3B, 4A, 4B, 4D, 5A, 5B, 5D, 6A, 6B, 6D, 7A, 7B and 7D. Among these QTLs, 19 were main-effect QTLs with a contribution rate greater than 10%. The results of the conditional QTL analysis of 12 traits under osmotic stress on normal water conditions were as follows: altogether 22 QTLs concerned with drought tolerance were detected on chromosomes 1B, 2A, 2B, 3B, 4A, 5D, 6A, 6D, 7B, and 7D. Of these QTLs, six were main-effect QTLs. These 22 QTLs were all special loci directly concerned with drought tolerance and most of them could not be detected by unconditional analysis. The finding of these QTLs has an important significance for fine-mapping technique, map-based cloning, and molecular marker-assisted selection of early seedling traits, such as growth and drought tolerance

    • The association study of nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate identified risk variants of the GLI3 gene in a Chinese population


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      Nonsyndromic cleft lip with or without cleft palate (NSCL/P) is a common birth defect due to abnormal orofacial development. Previous studies report abnormal sonic hedgehog (SHH) signalling activity during NSCL/P pathogenesis and propose several genes in the SHH pathway as candidate risk genes. As such, we focussed on GLI3, a downstream modulator of the SHH pathway. In the present study,we genotyped 34 tag SNPs covering GLI3 and performed association analysis with NSCL/P in 504 cases and 455 healthy controls. Our preliminary results identified risk variants of GLI3 that are associated with NSCL/P susceptibility in a Chinese population. In particular, rs3801161 and its haplotypes rs3801161–rs7785287 displayed significant association with NSCL/Pand survived Bonferroni correction for multiple comparisons. The robustness of the association between GLI3 and NSCL/P is worth further examination in the future across different populations.

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