Supermodels: sorghum and maize provide mutual insight into the genetics of flowering time

Title 
Supermodels: sorghum and maize provide mutual insight into the genetics of flowering time 
Publication Type 
Journal Article 
Authors 
Mace ES, Hunt CH, Jordan DR 
Year of Publication 
2013 
Volume 
126 
Journal 
Theoretical and Applied Genetics 
Issue 
Pagination 
1377 - 1395 
Date Published 
5/2013 
ISSN 
1432-2242 
Keywords 
BC-NAM, Maize, NAM, Nested association mapping, QTL, Sorghum 
DOI 
10.1007/s00122-013-2059-z 
Abstract 

Nested association mapping (NAM) offers power to dissect complex, quantitative traits. This study made use of a recently developed sorghum backcross (BC)-NAM population to dissect the genetic architecture of flowering time in sorghum; to compare the QTL identified with other genomic regions identified in previous sorghum and maize flowering time studies and to highlight the implications of our findings for plant breeding. A subset of the sorghum BC-NAM population consisting of over 1,300 individuals from 24 families was evaluated for flowering time across multiple environments. Two QTL analysis methodologies were used to identify 40 QTLs with predominately small, additive effects on flowering time; 24 of these co-located with previously identified QTL for flowering time in sorghum and 16 were novel in sorghum. Significant synteny was also detected with the QTL for flowering time detected in a comparable NAM resource recently developed for maize (Zea mays) by Buckler et al. (Science 325:714–718, 2009). The use of the sorghum BC-NAM population allowed us to catalogue allelic variants at a maximal number of QTL and understand their contribution to the flowering time phenotype and distribution across diverse germplasm. The successful demonstration of the power of the sorghum BC-NAM population is exemplified not only by correspondence of QTL previously identified in sorghum, but also by correspondence of QTL in different taxa, specifically maize in this case. The unification across taxa of the candidate genes influencing complex traits, such as flowering time can further facilitate the detailed dissection of the genetic control and causal genes.

 
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