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PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44397. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044397. Epub 2012 Sep 4.

Genetical genomics identifies the genetic architecture for growth and weevil resistance in spruce.

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1
Department of Forest Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. porth@mail.ubc.ca

Abstract

In plants, relationships between resistance to herbivorous insect pests and growth are typically controlled by complex interactions between genetically correlated traits. These relationships often result in tradeoffs in phenotypic expression. In this study we used genetical genomics to elucidate genetic relationships between tree growth and resistance to white pine terminal weevil (Pissodes strobi Peck.) in a pedigree population of interior spruce (Picea glauca, P. engelmannii and their hybrids) that was growing at Vernon, B.C. and segregating for weevil resistance. Genetical genomics uses genetic perturbations caused by allelic segregation in pedigrees to co-locate quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for gene expression and quantitative traits. Bark tissue of apical leaders from 188 trees was assayed for gene expression using a 21.8K spruce EST-spotted microarray; the same individuals were genotyped for 384 SNP markers for the genetic map. Many of the expression QTLs (eQTL) co-localized with resistance trait QTLs. For a composite resistance phenotype of six attack and oviposition traits, 149 positional candidate genes were identified. Resistance and growth QTLs also overlapped with eQTL hotspots along the genome suggesting that: 1) genetic pleiotropy of resistance and growth traits in interior spruce was substantial, and 2) master regulatory genes were important for weevil resistance in spruce. These results will enable future work on functional genetic studies of insect resistance in spruce, and provide valuable information about candidate genes for genetic improvement of spruce.

PMID:
22973444
PMCID:
PMC3433439
DOI:
10.1371/journal.pone.0044397
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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