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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Ithaca, New York » Robert W. Holley Center for Agriculture & Health » Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #369014

Research Project: Improving Crop Efficiency Using Genomic Diversity and Computational Modeling

Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

Title: Deleterious mutation burden and its association with complex traits in sorghum (sorghum bicolor)

item VALLURU, RAVI - Cornell University
item GAZAVE, ELODIE - Cornell University
item FERNANDES, SAMUEL - University Of Illinois
item FERGUSON, JOHN - University Of Illinois
item LAZANO, ROBERTO - Cornell University
item HIRANNAIAH, PRADEEP - University Of Illinois
item ZUO, TAO - Cornell University
item BROWN, PATRICK - University Of California, Davis
item LEAKEY, ANDREW - University Of Illinois
item GORE, MICHAEL - Cornell University
item Buckler, Edward - Ed
item BANDILLO, NONOY - Cornell University

Submitted to: Genetics
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/22/2018
Publication Date: 3/1/2019
Citation: Valluru, R., Gazave, E., Fernandes, S., Ferguson, J., Lazano, R., Hirannaiah, P., Zuo, T., Brown, P., Leakey, A., Gore, M., Buckler IV, E.S., Bandillo, N. 2019. Deleterious mutation burden and its association with complex traits in sorghum (sorghum bicolor). Genetics. 211(3):1075-1087.

Interpretive Summary: Sorghum (Sorghum bicolor L.) is a major food cereal for millions of people worldwide. The sorghum genome, like other species, accumulates deleterious mutations, likely impacting its fitness. The lack of recombination, drift, and the coupling with favorable loci impede the removal of deleterious mutations from the genome by selection. To study how deleterious variants impact phenotypes, we identified putative deleterious mutations among ~5.5 M segregating variants of 229 diverse biomass sorghum lines.

Technical Abstract: We used phenotypic and genomic data from different racial groups of sorghum to show that sorghum accumulates an appreciable number of deleterious mutations in the genome. Mutation burden differs substantially among racial groups that negatively correlate with phenotypes. GS models encompassing deleterious mutations show variable predictive ability across traits and, given the relatively high level of population structure in sorghum, disentangling deleterious effects at the single-variant level would take a tremendous amount of effort and recombination. Deleterious variants could be prioritized through work with intermediate phenotypes or with more extensive evolutionary analysis among closely related species. Both of these avenues, if combined with high-throughput genome editing and conventional breeding approaches involving parental lines with fewer deleterious variants, could be used to systematically start removing deleterious variants from elite sorghum lines.