Location: Corn Host Plant Resistance ResearchTitle: Genome-wide association study dissects the genetic architecture of oil biosynthesis and accumulation in maize kernel Author
Submitted to: Nature Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/17/2012
Publication Date: 12/16/2012
Citation: Hui, L., Yang, X., Wang, W., Peng, Z., Fu, J., Han, Y., Chai, Y., Guo, T., Yang, N., Liu, J., Warburton, M.L., Chen, Y., Hao, X., Zhang, P., Liu, Y., Li, J., Wang, G., Yan, J. 2012. Genome-wide association study dissects the genetic architecture of oil biosynthesis and accumulation in maize kernel. Nature Genetics. 45(1):43-50. doi:10.1038/ng.2484. Interpretive Summary: Maize production is critically important worldwide, and global maize production was 844 million tons in 2010. Further demand increases are expected, especially for higher-oil feed for more efficient animal growth, cooking oil with high levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids for human consumption, and oil suitable for industrial biodiesel production. To date, however, there has been limited success in identifying the actual genes that cause high oil production in maize. Here, we used Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) to identify 74 genes influencing maize kernel oil content and fatty acid composition. These were validated in three QTL mapping populations, and can now be used in marker assisted selection of oil content and composition, including manipulating they types of fatty acids that the corn will produce.
Technical Abstract: A Genome Wide Association Study (GWAS) on a population of 368 maize inbreds with 1.06 million SNPs was performed and identified 74 highly significantly associated genes influencing maize kernel oil content and fatty acid composition. To validate these findings, three biparental linkage mapping populations were developed and 27 of the associated genes were found to co-locate within the mapped QTL intervals including the three previously reported loci DGAT1-2, FATB and FAD2. PCR amplicon re-sequencing was used to identify candidate functional variants for five genes (FAD2, ACP, LACS, WRI1a, COPII). Using the 26 oil content genes, a simple additive model can predict 81% of the oil content in maize kernels in this study. Our results provide insight into the genetic architecture of oil synthesis and accumulation in maize kernels and may be used to facilitate marker-based breeding for oil content and composition.