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ARS Home » Plains Area » Fort Collins, Colorado » Center for Agricultural Resources Research » Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #366270

Research Project: Development of Sugar Beet Germplasm Enhanced for Resistance to Important and Emerging Plant Pathogens

Location: Soil Management and Sugarbeet Research

Title: Genetic diversity of field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) reveals untapped variability and paths toward selection for domestication

item FRELS, KATHERINE - University Of Minnesota
item CHOPRA, RATAN - University Of Minnesota
item Dorn, Kevin
item WYSE, DONALD - University Of Minnesota
item MARKS, M.DAVID - University Of Minnesota
item ANDERSON, JAMES - University Of Minnesota

Submitted to: Agronomy Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/9/2019
Publication Date: 6/11/2019
Citation: Frels, K., Chopra, R., Dorn, K.M., Wyse, D., Marks, M., Anderson, J.A. 2019. Genetic diversity of field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) reveals untapped variability and paths toward selection for domestication. Agronomy Journal. 9(6):302.

Interpretive Summary: Field pennycress (Thlaspi arvense) is being domesticated as a new winter-grown oilseed crop that can fit within the corn-soybean rotation in the midwestern United States. The genetic diversity of wild populations of pennycress has not been evaluated, which is critical foundational knowledge to drive a traditional breeding program. Using high throughput genotyping datasets from 121 wild accessions of pennycress, a total of 9157 DNA markers were identified that help differentiate these wild populations from each other and identify the potential genetic diversity within these populations. Using these DNA markers, four unique population clusters were identified in these 121 wild populations, as well as the existence of significant cross-population genetic diversity. Interestingly, one accession from Armenia that contained an exceptionally high level of diversity compared to the other populations was identified. By understanding the basis of genetic diversity across the wild collections of pennycress, we are now poised to harness this variation to drive the breeding program to develop pennycress into a new cash cover crop for cold climates.

Technical Abstract: Evaluation of genetic diversity within wild populations is an essential process for improvement and domestication of new crop species. This process involves evaluation of population structure and individual accessions based on genetic markers, growth habits, and geographic collection area. In this study, accessions of field pennycress were analyzed to identify population structure and variation in germplasm available for breeding. A total of 9157 genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified among the 121 accessions analyzed, and linkage disequilibrium based pruning resulted in 3497 SNPs. Bayesian cluster analysis was implemented in STRUCTURE v2.3.4 to identify four population groups. These groups were confirmed based on principal components analysis and geographic origins. Pairwise diversity among accessions was evaluated and revealed considerable genetic variation. Notably, a subset of accessions from Armenia with exceptional genetic variation was identified. This survey is the first to report significant genetic diversity among pennycress accessions and explain some of the phenotypic differences previously observed in the germplasm. Understanding variation in pennycress accessions will be a crucial step for selection, breeding, and domestication of a new cash cover crop for cold climates.