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Table_3_Identification of Chilling Accumulation-Associated Genes for Litchi Flowering by Transcriptome-Based Genome-Wide Association Studies.XLSX
Litchi is an important Sapindaceae fruit tree. Flowering in litchi is triggered by low temperatures in autumn and winter. It can be divided into early-, medium-, and late-flowering phenotypes according to the time for floral induction. Early-flowering varieties need low chilling accumulation level for floral induction, whereas the late-flowering varieties require high chilling accumulation level. In the present study, RNA-Seq of 87 accessions was performed and transcriptome-based genome-wide association studies (GWAS) was used to identify candidate genes involved in chilling accumulation underlying the time for floral induction. A total of 98,155 high-quality single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) sites were obtained. A total of 1,411 significantly associated SNPs and 1,115 associated genes (AGs) were identified, of which 31 were flowering-related, 23 were hormone synthesis-related, and 27 were hormone signal transduction-related. Association analysis between the gene expression of the AGs and the flowering phenotypic data was carried out, and differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in a temperature-controlled experiment were obtained. As a result, 15 flowering-related candidate AGs (CAGs), 13 hormone synthesis-related CAGs, and 11 hormone signal transduction-related CAGs were further screened. The expression levels of the CAGs in the early-flowering accessions were different from those in the late-flowering ones, and also between the flowering trees and non-flowering trees. In a gradient chilling treatment, flowering rates of the trees and the CAGs expression were affected by the treatment. Our present work for the first time provided candidate genes for genetic regulation of flowering in litchi using transcriptome-based GWAS.