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      Genome-Wide Association Analysis of Mucilage and Hull Content in Flax ( Linum usitatissimum L.) Seeds


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          New flaxseed cultivars differing in seed mucilage content (MC) with low hull content (HC) represent an attractive option to simultaneously target the food and feed markets. Here, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted for MC and HC in 200 diverse flaxseed accessions genotyped with 1.7 million single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers. The data obtained for MC and HC indicated a broad phenotypic variation and high (~70%) and a moderate (~49%) narrow sense heritability, respectively. MC and HC did not differ statistically between fiber and oil morphotypes, but yellow-seeded accessions had 2.7% less HC than brown-seeded ones. The genome-wide linkage disequilibrium (LD) decayed to r 2 = 0.1 at a physical distance of ~100 kb. Seven and four quantitative trait loci (QTL) were identified for MC and HC, respectively. Promising candidate genes identified include Linum usitatissimum orthologs of the Arabidopsis thaliana genes TRANSPARENT TESTA 8, SUBTILISIN-LIKE SERINE PROTEASE, GALACTUROSYL TRANSFERASE-LIKE 5, MUCILAGE-MODIFIED 4, AGAMOUS-LIKE MADS-BOX PROTEIN AGL62, GLYCOSYL HYDROLASE FAMILY 17, and UDP-GLUCOSE FLAVONOL 3-O-GLUCOSYLTRANSFERASE. These genes have been shown to play a role in mucilage synthesis and release, seed coat development and anthocyanin biosynthesis in A. thaliana. The favorable alleles will be useful in flaxseed breeding towards the goal of achieving the ideal MC and HC composition for food and feed by genomic-based breeding.

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          Association mapping in structured populations.

          The use, in association studies, of the forthcoming dense genomewide collection of single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) has been heralded as a potential breakthrough in the study of the genetic basis of common complex disorders. A serious problem with association mapping is that population structure can lead to spurious associations between a candidate marker and a phenotype. One common solution has been to abandon case-control studies in favor of family-based tests of association, such as the transmission/disequilibrium test (TDT), but this comes at a considerable cost in the need to collect DNA from close relatives of affected individuals. In this article we describe a novel, statistically valid, method for case-control association studies in structured populations. Our method uses a set of unlinked genetic markers to infer details of population structure, and to estimate the ancestry of sampled individuals, before using this information to test for associations within subpopulations. It provides power comparable with the TDT in many settings and may substantially outperform it if there are conflicting associations in different subpopulations.
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            The Arabidopsis MATE transporter TT12 acts as a vacuolar flavonoid/H+ -antiporter active in proanthocyanidin-accumulating cells of the seed coat.

            Phenotypic characterization of the Arabidopsis thaliana transparent testa12 (tt12) mutant encoding a membrane protein of the multidrug and toxic efflux transporter family, suggested that TT12 is involved in the vacuolar accumulation of proanthocyanidin precursors in the seed. Metabolite analysis in tt12 seeds reveals an absence of flavan-3-ols and proanthocyanidins together with a reduction of the major flavonol quercetin-3-O-rhamnoside. The TT12 promoter is active in cells synthesizing proanthocyanidins. Using translational fusions between TT12 and green fluorescent protein, it is demonstrated that this transporter localizes to the tonoplast. Yeast vesicles expressing TT12 can transport the anthocyanin cyanidin-3-O-glucoside in the presence of MgATP but not the aglycones cyanidin and epicatechin. Inhibitor studies demonstrate that TT12 acts in vitro as a cyanidin-3-O-glucoside/H(+)-antiporter. TT12 does not transport glycosylated flavonols and procyanidin dimers, and a direct transport activity for catechin-3-O-glucoside, a glucosylated flavan-3-ol, was not detectable. However, catechin-3-O-glucoside inhibited TT12-mediated transport of cyanidin-3-O-glucoside in a dose-dependent manner, while flavan-3-ol aglycones and glycosylated flavonols had no effect on anthocyanin transport. It is proposed that TT12 transports glycosylated flavan-3-ols in vivo. Mutant banyuls (ban) seeds accumulate anthocyanins instead of proanthocyanidins, yet the ban tt12 double mutant exhibits reduced anthocyanin accumulation, which supports the transport data suggesting that TT12 mediates anthocyanin transport in vitro.
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              Application of Association Mapping to Understanding the Genetic Diversity of Plant Germplasm Resources

              Compared to the conventional linkage mapping, linkage disequilibrium (LD)-mapping, using the nonrandom associations of loci in haplotypes, is a powerful high-resolution mapping tool for complex quantitative traits. The recent advances in the development of unbiased association mapping approaches for plant population with their successful applications in dissecting a number of simple to complex traits in many crop species demonstrate a flourish of the approach as a “powerful gene tagging” tool for crops in the plant genomics era of 21st century. The goal of this review is to provide nonexpert readers of crop breeding community with (1) the basic concept, merits, and simple description of existing methodologies for an association mapping with the recent improvements for plant populations, and (2) the details of some of pioneer and recent studies on association mapping in various crop species to demonstrate the feasibility, success, problems, and future perspectives of the efforts in plants. This should be helpful for interested readers of international plant research community as a guideline for the basic understanding, choosing the appropriate methods, and its application.

                Author and article information

                Int J Mol Sci
                Int J Mol Sci
                International Journal of Molecular Sciences
                21 September 2018
                October 2018
                : 19
                : 10
                : 2870
                [1 ]Agriaquaculture Nutritional Genomic Center (CGNA), Las Heras 350, Temuco 4781158, Chile; rocio.quian@ 123456cgna.cl (R.Q.); humberto.gajardo@ 123456cgna.cl (H.A.G.); marcos.olivos@ 123456cgna.cl (M.O.)
                [2 ]Ottawa Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON K1A 0C6, Canada; sylvie.j.cloutier@ 123456agr.gc.ca (S.C.); frank.you@ 123456agr.gc.ca (F.M.Y.)
                [3 ]Morden Research and Development Centre, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Morden, MB R6M 1Y5, Canada
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: braulio.soto@ 123456cgna.cl ; Tel.: +56-45-2740412
                Author information
                © 2018 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 14 August 2018
                : 18 September 2018

                Molecular biology
                flaxseed,linum usitatissimum,gwas,seed mucilage content,seed hull content,single nucleotide polymorphism (snp)


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