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1.  Genetically Based Location from Triploid Populations and Gene Ontology of a 3.3-Mb Genome Region Linked to Alternaria Brown Spot Resistance in Citrus Reveal Clusters of Resistance Genes 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(10):e76755.
Genetic analysis of phenotypical traits and marker-trait association in polyploid species is generally considered as a challenge. In the present work, different approaches were combined taking advantage of the particular genetic structures of 2n gametes resulting from second division restitution (SDR) to map a genome region linked to Alternaria brown spot (ABS) resistance in triploid citrus progeny. ABS in citrus is a serious disease caused by the tangerine pathotype of the fungus Alternaria alternata. This pathogen produces ACT-toxin, which induces necrotic lesions on fruit and young leaves, defoliation and fruit drop in susceptible genotypes. It is a strong concern for triploid breeding programs aiming to produce seedless mandarin cultivars. The monolocus dominant inheritance of susceptibility, proposed on the basis of diploid population studies, was corroborated in triploid progeny. Bulk segregant analysis coupled with genome scan using a large set of genetically mapped SNP markers and targeted genetic mapping by half tetrad analysis, using SSR and SNP markers, allowed locating a 3.3 Mb genomic region linked to ABS resistance near the centromere of chromosome III. Clusters of resistance genes were identified by gene ontology analysis of this genomic region. Some of these genes are good candidates to control the dominant susceptibility to the ACT-toxin. SSR and SNP markers were developed for efficient early marker-assisted selection of ABS resistant hybrids.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0076755
PMCID: PMC3792864  PMID: 24116149
2.  Adaptation of Maize to Temperate Climates: Mid-Density Genome-Wide Association Genetics and Diversity Patterns Reveal Key Genomic Regions, with a Major Contribution of the Vgt2 (ZCN8) Locus 
PLoS ONE  2013;8(8):e71377.
The migration of maize from tropical to temperate climates was accompanied by a dramatic evolution in flowering time. To gain insight into the genetic architecture of this adaptive trait, we conducted a 50K SNP-based genome-wide association and diversity investigation on a panel of tropical and temperate American and European representatives. Eighteen genomic regions were associated with flowering time. The number of early alleles cumulated along these regions was highly correlated with flowering time. Polymorphism in the vicinity of the ZCN8 gene, which is the closest maize homologue to Arabidopsis major flowering time (FT) gene, had the strongest effect. This polymorphism is in the vicinity of the causal factor of Vgt2 QTL. Diversity was lower, whereas differentiation and LD were higher for associated loci compared to the rest of the genome, which is consistent with selection acting on flowering time during maize migration. Selection tests also revealed supplementary loci that were highly differentiated among groups and not associated with flowering time in our panel, whereas they were in other linkage-based studies. This suggests that allele fixation led to a lack of statistical power when structure and relatedness were taken into account in a linear mixed model. Complementary designs and analysis methods are necessary to unravel the architecture of complex traits. Based on linkage disequilibrium (LD) estimates corrected for population structure, we concluded that the number of SNPs genotyped should be at least doubled to capture all QTLs contributing to the genetic architecture of polygenic traits in this panel. These results show that maize flowering time is controlled by numerous QTLs of small additive effect and that strong polygenic selection occurred under cool climatic conditions. They should contribute to more efficient genomic predictions of flowering time and facilitate the dissemination of diverse maize genetic resources under a wide range of environments.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0071377
PMCID: PMC3758321  PMID: 24023610
3.  A reference genetic map of C. clementina hort. ex Tan.; citrus evolution inferences from comparative mapping 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:593.
Background
Most modern citrus cultivars have an interspecific origin. As a foundational step towards deciphering the interspecific genome structures, a reference whole genome sequence was produced by the International Citrus Genome Consortium from a haploid derived from Clementine mandarin. The availability of a saturated genetic map of Clementine was identified as an essential prerequisite to assist the whole genome sequence assembly. Clementine is believed to be a ‘Mediterranean’ mandarin × sweet orange hybrid, and sweet orange likely arose from interspecific hybridizations between mandarin and pummelo gene pools. The primary goals of the present study were to establish a Clementine reference map using codominant markers, and to perform comparative mapping of pummelo, sweet orange, and Clementine.
Results
Five parental genetic maps were established from three segregating populations, which were genotyped with Single Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP), Simple Sequence Repeats (SSR) and Insertion-Deletion (Indel) markers. An initial medium density reference map (961 markers for 1084.1 cM) of the Clementine was established by combining male and female Clementine segregation data. This Clementine map was compared with two pummelo maps and a sweet orange map. The linear order of markers was highly conserved in the different species. However, significant differences in map size were observed, which suggests a variation in the recombination rates. Skewed segregations were much higher in the male than female Clementine mapping data. The mapping data confirmed that Clementine arose from hybridization between ‘Mediterranean’ mandarin and sweet orange. The results identified nine recombination break points for the sweet orange gamete that contributed to the Clementine genome.
Conclusions
A reference genetic map of citrus, used to facilitate the chromosome assembly of the first citrus reference genome sequence, was established. The high conservation of marker order observed at the interspecific level should allow reasonable inferences of most citrus genome sequences by mapping next-generation sequencing (NGS) data in the reference genome sequence. The genome of the haploid Clementine used to establish the citrus reference genome sequence appears to have been inherited primarily from the ‘Mediterranean’ mandarin. The high frequency of skewed allelic segregations in the male Clementine data underline the probable extent of deviation from Mendelian segregation for characters controlled by heterozygous loci in male parents.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-593
PMCID: PMC3546309  PMID: 23126659
C. clementina; C. sinensis; C. maxima; SSRs; SNPs; Indels; Genetic maps
4.  Genome-Wide Association Mapping in Tomato (Solanum lycopersicum) Is Possible Using Genome Admixture of Solanum lycopersicum var. cerasiforme 
G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics  2012;2(8):853-864.
Genome-wide association mapping is an efficient way to identify quantitative trait loci controlling the variation of phenotypes, but the approach suffers severe limitations when one is studying inbred crops like cultivated tomato (Solanum lycopersicum). Such crops exhibit low rates of molecular polymorphism and high linkage disequilibrium, which reduces mapping resolution. The cherry type tomato (S. lycopersicum var. cerasiforme) genome has been described as an admixture between the cultivated tomato and its wild ancestor, S. pimpinellifolium. We have thus taken advantage of the properties of this admixture to improve the resolution of association mapping in tomato. As a proof of concept, we sequenced 81 DNA fragments distributed on chromosome 2 at different distances in a core collection of 90 tomato accessions, including mostly cherry type tomato accessions. The 81 Sequence Tag Sites revealed 352 SNPs and indels. Molecular diversity was greatest for S. pimpinellifolium accessions, intermediate for S. l. cerasiforme accessions, and lowest for the cultivated group. We assessed the structure of molecular polymorphism and the extent of linkage disequilibrium over genetic and physical distances. Linkage disequilibrium decreased under r2 = 0.3 within 1 cM, and minimal estimated value (r2 = 0.13) was reached within 20 kb over the physical regions studied. Associations between polymorphisms and fruit weight, locule number, and soluble solid content were detected. Several candidate genes and quantitative trait loci previously identified were validated and new associations detected. This study shows the advantages of using a collection of S. l. cerasiforme accessions to overcome the low resolution of association mapping in tomato.
doi:10.1534/g3.112.002667
PMCID: PMC3411241  PMID: 22908034
tomato (Solanum lycopersicum); admixture; association mapping; linkage disequilibrium
5.  SNP mining in C. clementina BAC end sequences; transferability in the Citrus genus (Rutaceae), phylogenetic inferences and perspectives for genetic mapping 
BMC Genomics  2012;13:13.
Background
With the increasing availability of EST databases and whole genome sequences, SNPs have become the most abundant and powerful polymorphic markers. However, SNP chip data generally suffers from ascertainment biases caused by the SNP discovery and selection process in which a small number of individuals are used as discovery panels. The ongoing International Citrus Genome Consortium sequencing project of the highly heterozygous Clementine and sweet orange genomes will soon result in the release of several hundred thousand SNPs. The primary goals of this study were: (i) to estimate the transferability within the genus Citrus of SNPs discovered from Clementine BACend sequencing (BES), (ii) to estimate bias associated with the very narrow discovery panel, and (iii) to evaluate the usefulness of the Clementine-derived SNP markers for diversity analysis and comparative mapping studies between the different cultivated Citrus species.
Results
Fifty-four accessions covering the main Citrus species and 52 interspecific hybrids between pummelo and Clementine were genotyped on a GoldenGate array platform using 1,457 SNPs mined from Clementine BES and 37 SNPs identified between and within C. maxima, C. medica, C. reticulata and C. micrantha. Consistent results were obtained from 622 SNP loci. Of these markers, 116 displayed incomplete transferability primarily in C. medica, C. maxima and wild Citrus species. The two primary biases associated with the SNP mining in Clementine were an overestimation of the C. reticulata diversity and an underestimation of the interspecific differentiation. However, the genetic stratification of the gene pool was high, with very frequent significant linkage disequilibrium. Furthermore, the shared intraspecific polymorphism and accession heterozygosity were generally enough to perform interspecific comparative genetic mapping.
Conclusions
A set of 622 SNP markers providing consistent results was selected. Of the markers mined from Clementine, 80.5% were successfully transferred to the whole Citrus gene pool. Despite the ascertainment biases in relation to the Clementine origin, the SNP data confirm the important stratification of the gene pools around C. maxima, C. medica and C. reticulata as well as previous hypothesis on the origin of secondary species. The implemented SNP marker set will be very useful for comparative genetic mapping in Citrus and genetic association in C. reticulata.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-13-13
PMCID: PMC3320530  PMID: 22233093
6.  Discovery and mapping of a new expressed sequence tag-single nucleotide polymorphism and simple sequence repeat panel for large-scale genetic studies and breeding of Theobroma cacao L. 
Theobroma cacao is an economically important tree of several tropical countries. Its genetic improvement is essential to provide protection against major diseases and improve chocolate quality. We discovered and mapped new expressed sequence tag-single nucleotide polymorphism (EST-SNP) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers and constructed a high-density genetic map. By screening 149 650 ESTs, 5246 SNPs were detected in silico, of which 1536 corresponded to genes with a putative function, while 851 had a clear polymorphic pattern across a collection of genetic resources. In addition, 409 new SSR markers were detected on the Criollo genome. Lastly, 681 new EST-SNPs and 163 new SSRs were added to the pre-existing 418 co-dominant markers to construct a large consensus genetic map. This high-density map and the set of new genetic markers identified in this study are a milestone in cocoa genomics and for marker-assisted breeding. The data are available at http://tropgenedb.cirad.fr.
doi:10.1093/dnares/dsr039
PMCID: PMC3276266  PMID: 22210604
Theobroma cacao; genetic map; SNP; molecular marker
7.  Transcriptomic analysis of the interaction between Helianthus annuus and its obligate parasite Plasmopara halstedii shows single nucleotide polymorphisms in CRN sequences 
BMC Genomics  2011;12:498.
Background
Downy mildew in sunflowers (Helianthus annuus L.) is caused by the oomycete Plasmopara halstedii (Farl.) Berlese et de Toni. Despite efforts by the international community to breed mildew-resistant varieties, downy mildew remains a major threat to the sunflower crop. Very few genomic, genetic and molecular resources are currently available to study this pathogen. Using a 454 sequencing method, expressed sequence tags (EST) during the interaction between H. annuus and P. halstedii have been generated and a search was performed for sites in putative effectors to show polymorphisms between the different races of P. halstedii.
Results
A 454 pyrosequencing run of two infected sunflower samples (inbred lines XRQ and PSC8 infected with race 710 of P. halstedii, which exhibit incompatible and compatible interactions, respectively) generated 113,720 and 172,107 useable reads. From these reads, 44,948 contigs and singletons have been produced. A bioinformatic portal, HP, was specifically created for in-depth analysis of these clusters. Using in silico filtering, 405 clusters were defined as being specific to oomycetes, and 172 were defined as non-specific oomycete clusters. A subset of these two categories was checked using PCR amplification, and 86% of the tested clusters were validated. Twenty putative RXLR and CRN effectors were detected using PSI-BLAST. Using corresponding sequences from four races (100, 304, 703 and 710), 22 SNPs were detected, providing new information on pathogen polymorphisms.
Conclusions
This study identified a large number of genes that are expressed during H. annuus/P. halstedii compatible or incompatible interactions. It also reveals, for the first time, that an infection mechanism exists in P. halstedii similar to that in other oomycetes associated with the presence of putative RXLR and CRN effectors. SNPs discovered in CRN effector sequences were used to determine the genetic distances between the four races of P. halstedii. This work therefore provides valuable tools for further discoveries regarding the H. annuus/P. halstedii pathosystem.
doi:10.1186/1471-2164-12-498
PMCID: PMC3204308  PMID: 21988821
8.  Patterns of sequence polymorphism in the fleshless berry locus in cultivated and wild Vitis vinifera accessions 
BMC Plant Biology  2010;10:284.
Background
Unlike in tomato, little is known about the genetic and molecular control of fleshy fruit development of perennial fruit trees like grapevine (Vitis vinifera L.). Here we present the study of the sequence polymorphism in a 1 Mb grapevine genome region at the top of chromosome 18 carrying the fleshless berry mutation (flb) in order, first to identify SNP markers closely linked to the gene and second to search for possible signatures of domestication.
Results
In total, 62 regions (17 SSR, 3 SNP, 1 CAPS and 41 re-sequenced gene fragments) were scanned for polymorphism along a 3.4 Mb interval (85,127-3,506,060 bp) at the top of the chromosome 18, in both V. vinifera cv. Chardonnay and a genotype carrying the flb mutation, V. vinifera cv. Ugni Blanc mutant. A nearly complete homozygosity in Ugni Blanc (wild and mutant forms) and an expected high level of heterozygosity in Chardonnay were revealed. Experiments using qPCR and BAC FISH confirmed the observed homozygosity. Under the assumption that flb could be one of the genes involved into the domestication syndrome of grapevine, we sequenced 69 gene fragments, spread over the flb region, representing 48,874 bp in a highly diverse set of cultivated and wild V. vinifera genotypes, to identify possible signatures of domestication in the cultivated V. vinifera compartment. We identified eight gene fragments presenting a significant deviation from neutrality of the Tajima's D parameter in the cultivated pool. One of these also showed higher nucleotide diversity in the wild compartments than in the cultivated compartments. In addition, SNPs significantly associated to berry weight variation were identified in the flb region.
Conclusions
We observed the occurrence of a large homozygous region in a non-repetitive region of the grapevine otherwise highly-heterozygous genome and propose a hypothesis for its formation. We demonstrated the feasibility to apply BAC FISH on the very small grapevine chromosomes and provided a specific probe for the identification of chromosome 18 on a cytogenetic map. We evidenced genes showing putative signatures of selection and SNPs significantly associated with berry weight variation in the flb region. In addition, we provided to the community 554 SNPs at the top of chromosome 18 for the development of a genotyping chip for future fine mapping of the flb gene in a F2 population when available.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-10-284
PMCID: PMC3022909  PMID: 21176183
9.  High level of conservation between genes coding for the GAMYB transcription factor in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) and bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) collections 
The transcription factor GAMYB is involved in gibberellin signalling in cereal aleurone cells and in plant developmental processes. Nucleotide diversity of HvGAMYB and TaGAMYB was investigated in 155 barley (Hordeum vulgare) and 42 wheat (Triticum aestivum) accessions, respectively. Polymorphisms defined 18 haplotypes in the barley collection and 1, 7 and 3 haplotypes for the A, B, and D genomes of wheat, respectively. We found that (1) Hv- and TaGAMYB genes have identical structures. (2) Both genes show a high level of nucleotide identity (>95%) in the coding sequences and the distribution of polymorphisms is similar in both collections. At the protein level the functional domain is identical in both species. (3) GAMYB genes map to a syntenic position on chromosome 3. GAMYB genes are different in both collections with respect to the Tajima D statistic and linkage disequilibrium (LD). A moderate level of LD was observed in the barley collection. In wheat, LD is absolute between polymorphic sites, mostly located in the first intron, while it decays within the gene. Differences in Tajima D values might be due to a lower selection pressure on HvGAMYB, compared to its wheat orthologue. Altogether our results provide evidence that there have been only few evolutionary changes in Hv- and TaGAMYB. This confirms the close relationship between these species and also highlights the functional importance of this transcription factor.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s00122-008-0777-4) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s00122-008-0777-4
PMCID: PMC2755743  PMID: 18488187
10.  Natural variation in CBF gene sequence, gene expression and freezing tolerance in the Versailles core collection of Arabidopsis thaliana 
BMC Plant Biology  2008;8:105.
Background
Plants from temperate regions are able to withstand freezing temperatures due to a process known as cold acclimation, which is a prior exposure to low, but non-freezing temperatures. During acclimation, a large number of genes are induced, bringing about biochemical changes in the plant, thought to be responsible for the subsequent increase in freezing tolerance. Key regulatory proteins in this process are the CBF1, 2 and 3 transcription factors which control the expression of a set of target genes referred to as the "CBF regulon".
Results
To assess the role of the CBF genes in cold acclimation and freezing tolerance of Arabidopsis thaliana, the CBF genes and their promoters were sequenced in the Versailles core collection, a set of 48 accessions that maximizes the naturally-occurring genetic diversity, as well as in the commonly used accessions Col-0 and WS. Extensive polymorphism was found in all three genes. Freezing tolerance was measured in all accessions to assess the variability in acclimated freezing tolerance. The effect of sequence polymorphism was investigated by evaluating the kinetics of CBF gene expression, as well as that of a subset of the target COR genes, in a set of eight accessions with contrasting freezing tolerance. Our data indicate that CBF genes as well as the selected COR genes are cold induced in all accessions, irrespective of their freezing tolerance. Although we observed different levels of expression in different accessions, CBF or COR gene expression was not closely correlated with freezing tolerance.
Conclusion
Our results indicate that the Versailles core collection contains significant natural variation with respect to freezing tolerance, polymorphism in the CBF genes and CBF and COR gene expression. Although there tends to be more CBF and COR gene expression in tolerant accessions, there are exceptions, reinforcing the idea that a complex network of genes is involved in freezing tolerance and that the CBF genes alone cannot explain all differences in phenotype. Our study also highlights the difficulty in assessing the function of single transcription factors that are members of closely related gene families.
doi:10.1186/1471-2229-8-105
PMCID: PMC2579297  PMID: 18922165
11.  Sex-Specific Crossover Distributions and Variations in Interference Level along Arabidopsis thaliana Chromosome 4 
PLoS Genetics  2007;3(6):e106.
In many species, sex-related differences in crossover (CO) rates have been described at chromosomal and regional levels. In this study, we determined the CO distribution along the entire Arabidopsis thaliana Chromosome 4 (18 Mb) in male and female meiosis, using high density genetic maps built on large backcross populations (44 markers, >1,300 plants). We observed dramatic differences between male and female map lengths that were calculated as 88 cM and 52 cM, respectively. This difference is remarkably parallel to that between the total synaptonemal complex lengths measured in male and female meiocytes by immunolabeling of ZYP1 (a component of the synaptonemal complex). Moreover, CO landscapes were clearly different: in particular, at both ends of the map, male CO rates were higher (up to 4-fold the mean value), whereas female CO rates were equal or even below the chromosomal average. This unique material gave us the opportunity to perform a detailed analysis of CO interference on Chromosome 4 in male and female meiosis. The number of COs per chromosome and the distances between them clearly departs from randomness. Strikingly, the interference level (measured by coincidence) varied significantly along the chromosome in male meiosis and was correlated to the physical distance between COs. The significance of this finding on the relevance of current CO interference models is discussed.
Author Summary
Meiotic crossovers between homologous chromosomes ensure their proper segregation to generate ultimately gametes. They also create new allelic combinations which contribute to the diversity of traits among individuals. In all eukaryotes, the number and the localization of crossovers along chromosomes are not random. In addition, crossovers are not independent of each other: the occurrence of a crossover lowers the probability that another crossover arises in its vicinity. The mechanism of this phenomenon, called “crossover interference,” is one of the most challenging puzzles that geneticists have been faced with in the last century. In this paper, we precisely described the distribution of crossovers along Chromosome 4 of the model plant species Arabidopsis thaliana, separately in male and female meiosis. Interestingly, we observed that crossovers are 1.7 more numerous in male than in female meiosis, and this increase is especially marked at the ends of the chromosome. Moreover, our results provide the first evidence that the level of interference along a chromosome is not a constant and is correlated with the physical distance between crossovers. These results shed new light on the determinism of crossover localization and could have important outcomes on the relevance of current models of crossover interference.
doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.0030106
PMCID: PMC1904369  PMID: 17604455

Results 1-11 (11)