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      Unraveling the Complex Trait of Crop Yield With Quantitative Trait Loci Mapping in Brassica napus

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      Genetics

      Genetics Society of America

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          Abstract

          Yield is the most important and complex trait for the genetic improvement of crops. Although much research into the genetic basis of yield and yield-associated traits has been reported, in each such experiment the genetic architecture and determinants of yield have remained ambiguous. One of the most intractable problems is the interaction between genes and the environment. We identified 85 quantitative trait loci (QTL) for seed yield along with 785 QTL for eight yield-associated traits, from 10 natural environments and two related populations of rapeseed. A trait-by-trait meta-analysis revealed 401 consensus QTL, of which 82.5% were clustered and integrated into 111 pleiotropic unique QTL by meta-analysis, 47 of which were relevant for seed yield. The complexity of the genetic architecture of yield was demonstrated, illustrating the pleiotropy, synthesis, variability, and plasticity of yield QTL. The idea of estimating indicator QTL for yield QTL and identifying potential candidate genes for yield provides an advance in methodology for complex traits.

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          Most cited references 39

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          Cytokinin oxidase regulates rice grain production.

          Most agriculturally important traits are regulated by genes known as quantitative trait loci (QTLs) derived from natural allelic variations. We here show that a QTL that increases grain productivity in rice, Gn1a, is a gene for cytokinin oxidase/dehydrogenase (OsCKX2), an enzyme that degrades the phytohormone cytokinin. Reduced expression of OsCKX2 causes cytokinin accumulation in inflorescence meristems and increases the number of reproductive organs, resulting in enhanced grain yield. QTL pyramiding to combine loci for grain number and plant height in the same genetic background generated lines exhibiting both beneficial traits. These results provide a strategy for tailormade crop improvement.
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            Natural variation in Ghd7 is an important regulator of heading date and yield potential in rice.

            Yield potential, plant height and heading date are three classes of traits that determine the productivity of many crop plants. Here we show that the quantitative trait locus (QTL) Ghd7, isolated from an elite rice hybrid and encoding a CCT domain protein, has major effects on an array of traits in rice, including number of grains per panicle, plant height and heading date. Enhanced expression of Ghd7 under long-day conditions delays heading and increases plant height and panicle size. Natural mutants with reduced function enable rice to be cultivated in temperate and cooler regions. Thus, Ghd7 has played crucial roles for increasing productivity and adaptability of rice globally.
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              A QTL for rice grain width and weight encodes a previously unknown RING-type E3 ubiquitin ligase.

               Min Shi,  Zhen Zhu,  Xian Song (2007)
              Grain weight is one of the most important components of grain yield and is controlled by quantitative trait loci (QTLs) derived from natural variations in crops. However, the molecular roles of QTLs in the regulation of grain weight have not been fully elucidated. Here, we report the cloning and characterization of GW2, a new QTL that controls rice grain width and weight. Our data show that GW2 encodes a previously unknown RING-type protein with E3 ubiquitin ligase activity, which is known to function in the degradation by the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. Loss of GW2 function increased cell numbers, resulting in a larger (wider) spikelet hull, and it accelerated the grain milk filling rate, resulting in enhanced grain width, weight and yield. Our results suggest that GW2 negatively regulates cell division by targeting its substrate(s) to proteasomes for regulated proteolysis. The functional characterization of GW2 provides insight into the mechanism of seed development and is a potential tool for improving grain yield in crops.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Genetics
                Genetics
                Genetics Society of America
                0016-6731
                1943-2631
                July 21 2009
                July 2009
                July 2009
                May 04 2009
                : 182
                : 3
                : 851-861
                Article
                10.1534/genetics.109.101642
                2710164
                19414564
                © 2009

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