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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Stuttgart, Arkansas » Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #410945

Research Project: Gene Discovery and Crop Design for Current and New Rice Management Practices and Market Opportunities

Location: Dale Bumpers National Rice Research Center

Title: Discovery of a major gene behind prickles, an important plant innovation, in the large Solanum (Leptostemonum Clade)

item Huggins, Trevis
item Eizenga, Georgia
item SATTERLEE, JAMES - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
item ALONSO, DAVID - University Of Valencia
item GRAMAZIO, PIETRO - University Of Valencia
item HE, JIA - Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory
item ARRONES, ANDREA - University Of Valencia
item VILLANUEVA, GLORIA - University Of Valencia
item PLAZAS, MARIOLA - University Of Valencia
item JENIKE, KATHARINE - Johns Hopkins University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2024
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Solanum is one of the largest genera in the plant kingdom with approximately 1,250 species. The largest monophyletic group within Solanum is the Leptostemonum Clade, with more than 500 species. A distinctive characteristic of this clade is the presence of epidermal prickles on vegetative organs; these are a synapomorphy of the Clade and represent a single origin evolutionary innovation in the genus. Prickles have been lost independently in several taxa. In cultivated species, breeders favored selection of prickleless (pl) materials during crop domestication. Interspecific mapping populations between pl eggplant (Solanum melongena) and wild prickled species revealed that the pl phenotype is recessive and consistent with one Mendelian locus. Advanced backcrosses of prickle-bearing wild species into the S. melongena background pointed to a region at the end of chromosome 6 containing the causal genetic locus. Fine mapping of the region narrowed the causal interval to a 600 kb genomic region containing 13 annotated genes that included a LONELY-GUY (LOG) cytokinin biosynthesis gene harboring a splice-site mutation. Other prickleless cultivated eggplants were found to have either splice-site mutations (S. macrocarpon) or a deletion (S. aethiopicum) in this gene, identifying it as PL. Sequencing of PL in prickleless species from the Leptostemonum clade revealed 15 independent mutations (i.e. frameshift, splice-site, TE insertion, and deletion alleles). The key role of PL in the development of prickles was further confirmed by CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing of PL in the prickly Australian wild species S. cleistogamum and S. prinophyllum, which recapitulated the phenotype. Our results indicate that PL may have had a major role in the evolution of an adaptive morphological novelty in the Leptostemonum Clade, as well as serving as a key genetic target during multiple instances of crop domestication.