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Sci Rep. 2019 Feb 22;9(1):2541. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-39280-5.

New alleles for chlorophyll content and stay-green traits revealed by a genome wide association study in rice (Oryza sativa).

Author information

1
Key Laboratory of Crop Heterosis and Utilization of the Ministry of Education, and Beijing Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, China.
2
Department of Plant Science, Plant Genomics and Breeding Institute, and Research Institute of Agriculture and Life Sciences, Seoul National University, Seoul, 08826, Republic of Korea.
3
Key Laboratory of Crop Heterosis and Utilization of the Ministry of Education, and Beijing Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, China Agricultural University, Beijing, 100193, China. lijinjie@cau.edu.cn.

Abstract

Higher chlorophyll content (CC) and strong stay-green (SG) traits are conducive for improvement of photosynthetic efficiency in plants. Exploration of natural elite alleles for CC and SG, and highly resolved gene haplotypes are beneficial to rational design of breeding for high-photosynthetic efficiency. Phenotypic analysis of 368 rice accessions showed no significant correlation between CC and SG, and higher CC and stronger SG in japonica than in indica. Genome-wide association studies of six indices for CC and SG identified a large number of association signals, among which 14 were identified as pleiotropic regions for CC and SG. Twenty-five known genes and pleiotropic candidate gene OsSG1 accounted for natural variation in CC and SG. Further analysis indicated that 20 large-effect, non-synonymous SNPs within six known genes around GWAS signals and three SNPs in the promoter of OsSG1 could be functional causing significant phenotypic differences between alleles. Superior haplotypes were identified based on these potentially functional SNPs. Population analyses of 368 cultivated accessions and 446 wild accessions based on SNPs within genes for CC and SG suggested that these genes had been subjected to strong positive selection in japonica in the process of spreading from its subtropical origin to the North China temperate zone. Our studies point to important genes that account for natural variation and provide superior haplotypes of possible functional SNPs that will be beneficial in breeding for high-photosynthetic efficiency in rice.

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