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J Exp Bot. 2013 Apr;64(6):1537-51. doi: 10.1093/jxb/ert018. Epub 2013 Feb 5.

Association of candidate genes with drought tolerance traits in diverse perennial ryegrass accessions.

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  • 1Department of Agronomy, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.

Abstract

Drought is a major environmental stress limiting growth of perennial grasses in temperate regions. Plant drought tolerance is a complex trait that is controlled by multiple genes. Candidate gene association mapping provides a powerful tool for dissection of complex traits. Candidate gene association mapping of drought tolerance traits was conducted in 192 diverse perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) accessions from 43 countries. The panel showed significant variations in leaf wilting, leaf water content, canopy and air temperature difference, and chlorophyll fluorescence under well-watered and drought conditions across six environments. Analysis of 109 simple sequence repeat markers revealed five population structures in the mapping panel. A total of 2520 expression-based sequence readings were obtained for a set of candidate genes involved in antioxidant metabolism, dehydration, water movement across membranes, and signal transduction, from which 346 single nucleotide polymorphisms were identified. Significant associations were identified between a putative LpLEA3 encoding late embryogenesis abundant group 3 protein and a putative LpFeSOD encoding iron superoxide dismutase and leaf water content, as well as between a putative LpCyt Cu-ZnSOD encoding cytosolic copper-zinc superoxide dismutase and chlorophyll fluorescence under drought conditions. Four of these identified significantly associated single nucleotide polymorphisms from these three genes were also translated to amino acid substitutions in different genotypes. These results indicate that allelic variation in these genes may affect whole-plant response to drought stress in perennial ryegrass.

PMID:
23386684
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC3617828
Free PMC Article
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