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      Natural Variation at sympathy for the ligule Controls Penetrance of the Semidominant Liguleless narrow-R Mutation in Zea mays

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          Leaf architecture determines plant structural integrity, light harvesting, and economic considerations such as plant density. Ligules, junctions at the leaf sheath and blade in grasses, protect stalks from environmental stresses and, in conjunction with auricles, controls leaf angle. Previous studies in mutants have recessive liguleless mutants ( lg1 and lg2) and dominant mutations in knotted1-like homeobox genes ( Lg3-O, Lg4, and Kn1) involved in ligule development. Recently, a new semidominant liguleless mutant, Liguleless narrow ( Lgn-R), has been characterized in maize that affects ligule and auricle development and results in a narrow leaf phenotype. We show that quantitative genetic variation affects penetrance of Lgn-R. To examine the genetic architecture underlying Lgn-R expressivity, crosses between Lgn-R/+ mutants in a B73 background and intermated B73 x Mo17 recombinant inbred lines were evaluated in multiple years and locations. A single main-effect quantitative trait locus (QTL) on chromosome 1 ( sympathy for the ligule; sol) was discovered with a Mo17-contributed allele that suppressed Lgn-R mutant phenotypes. This QTL has a genetic-interaction with a locus on chromosome 7 ( lucifer; lcf) for which the B73-contributed allele increases the ability of the sol Mo17 allele to suppress Lgn-R. Neither of the genetic intervals likely to contain sol or lcf overlap with any current liguleless genes nor with previously identified genome-wide association QTL connected to leaf architecture. Analysis of phenotypes across environments further identified a genotype by enviroment interaction determining the strength of the sol x lcf interaction.

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          Most cited references 20

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          Basic local alignment search tool.

          A new approach to rapid sequence comparison, basic local alignment search tool (BLAST), directly approximates alignments that optimize a measure of local similarity, the maximal segment pair (MSP) score. Recent mathematical results on the stochastic properties of MSP scores allow an analysis of the performance of this method as well as the statistical significance of alignments it generates. The basic algorithm is simple and robust; it can be implemented in a number of ways and applied in a variety of contexts including straightforward DNA and protein sequence database searches, motif searches, gene identification searches, and in the analysis of multiple regions of similarity in long DNA sequences. In addition to its flexibility and tractability to mathematical analysis, BLAST is an order of magnitude faster than existing sequence comparison tools of comparable sensitivity.
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            The B73 maize genome: complexity, diversity, and dynamics.

            We report an improved draft nucleotide sequence of the 2.3-gigabase genome of maize, an important crop plant and model for biological research. Over 32,000 genes were predicted, of which 99.8% were placed on reference chromosomes. Nearly 85% of the genome is composed of hundreds of families of transposable elements, dispersed nonuniformly across the genome. These were responsible for the capture and amplification of numerous gene fragments and affect the composition, sizes, and positions of centromeres. We also report on the correlation of methylation-poor regions with Mu transposon insertions and recombination, and copy number variants with insertions and/or deletions, as well as how uneven gene losses between duplicated regions were involved in returning an ancient allotetraploid to a genetically diploid state. These analyses inform and set the stage for further investigations to improve our understanding of the domestication and agricultural improvements of maize.
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              R/qtl: QTL mapping in experimental crosses.

              R/qtl is an extensible, interactive environment for mapping quantitative trait loci (QTLs) in experimental populations derived from inbred lines. It is implemented as an add-on package for the freely-available statistical software, R, and includes functions for estimating genetic maps, identifying genotyping errors, and performing single-QTL and two-dimensional, two-QTL genome scans by multiple methods, with the possible inclusion of covariates. The package is freely available at

                Author and article information

                G3 (Bethesda)
                G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
                G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
                G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
                G3: Genes|Genomes|Genetics
                Genetics Society of America
                24 October 2014
                December 2014
                : 4
                : 12
                : 2297-2306
                [* ]Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907
                []Plant Gene Expression Center, USDA-ARS, University of California, Berkeley, Albany, California 94710
                Author notes
                [1 ]Corresponding author: Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907. E-mail: bdilkes@
                Copyright © 2014 Buescher et al.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Unported License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Pages: 10
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                epistasis, genetic network, development, qtl


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