Presentation_1_Genome-Wide Association Study in Pseudo-F2 Populations of Switchgrass Identifies Genetic Loci Affecting Heading and Anthesis Dates.pdf
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Switchgrass (Panicum virgatum) is a native prairie grass and valuable bio-energy crop. The physiological change from juvenile to reproductive adult can draw important resources away from growth into producing reproductive structures, thereby limiting the growth potential of early flowering plants. Delaying the flowering of switchgrass is one approach by which to increase total biomass. The objective of this research was to identify genetic variants and candidate genes for controlling heading and anthesis in segregating switchgrass populations. Four pseudo-F2 populations (two pairs of reciprocal crosses) were developed from lowland (late flowering) and upland (early flowering) ecotypes, and heading and anthesis dates of these populations were collected in Lafayette, IN and DeKalb, IL in 2015 and 2016. Across 2 years, there was a 34- and 73-day difference in heading and a 52- and 75-day difference in anthesis at the Lafayette and DeKalb locations, respectively. A total of 37,901 single nucleotide polymorphisms obtained by exome capture sequencing of the populations were used in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) that identified five significant signals at three loci for heading and two loci for anthesis. Among them, a homolog of FLOWERING LOCUS T on chromosome 5b associated with heading date was identified at the Lafayette location across 2 years. A homolog of ARABIDOPSIS PSEUDO-RESPONSE REGULATOR 5, a light modulator in the circadian clock associated with heading date was detected on chromosome 8a across locations and years. These results demonstrate that genetic variants related to floral development could lend themselves to a long-term goal of developing late flowering varieties of switchgrass with high biomass yield.
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