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Genome-wide association study dissects the genetic architecture of oil biosynthesis in maize kernels

Nature Genetics volume 45, pages 4350 (2013) | Download Citation

Abstract

Maize kernel oil is a valuable source of nutrition. Here we extensively examine the genetic architecture of maize oil biosynthesis in a genome-wide association study using 1.03 million SNPs characterized in 368 maize inbred lines, including 'high-oil' lines. We identified 74 loci significantly associated with kernel oil concentration and fatty acid composition (P < 1.8 × 10−6), which we subsequently examined using expression quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping, linkage mapping and coexpression analysis. More than half of the identified loci localized in mapped QTL intervals, and one-third of the candidate genes were annotated as enzymes in the oil metabolic pathway. The 26 loci associated with oil concentration could explain up to 83% of the phenotypic variation using a simple additive model. Our results provide insights into the genetic basis of oil biosynthesis in maize kernels and may facilitate marker-based breeding for oil quantity and quality.

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Acknowledgements

We appreciated the helpful comments on the manuscript from A. Rafalski, J. Dudley, T. Setter and B. Shen. This research was supported by the National Hi-Tech Research and Development Program of China (2012AA10A307), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (31101156, 31123009), the National Basic Research Program of China (2009CB118404), the Ministry of Agriculture of China (2011ZX08009-001) and the National Gene Bank Project of China.

Author information

Author notes

    • Hui Li
    • , Zhiyu Peng
    • , Xiaohong Yang
    • , Weidong Wang
    • , Junjie Fu
    •  & Jianhua Wang

    These authors contributed equally to this work.

Affiliations

  1. National Maize Improvement Center of China, Beijing Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China.

    • Hui Li
    • , Xiaohong Yang
    • , Weidong Wang
    • , Jianhua Wang
    • , Yingjia Han
    • , Yuchao Chai
    • , Tingting Guo
    • , Xiaomin Hao
    • , Pan Zhang
    •  & Jiansheng Li
  2. Beijing Genomics Institute-Shenzhen, Shenzhen, China.

    • Zhiyu Peng
    • , Yanbing Cheng
    •  & Jinyang Zhao
  3. Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China.

    • Junjie Fu
    • , Yunjun Liu
    •  & Guoying Wang
  4. National Key Laboratory of Crop Genetic Improvement, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, China.

    • Ning Yang
    • , Jie Liu
    •  & Jianbing Yan
  5. Corn Host Plant Resistance Research Unit, US Department of Agriculture–Agricultural Research Service, Starkville, Mississippi, USA.

    • Marilyn L Warburton

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Contributions

J.Y., X.Y., J. Li and G.W. designed and supervised this study. H.L., W.W., Y.H., Y. Chai, P.Z. and X.H. performed the experiments. H.L., X.Y., W.W., Z.P., J.F., T.G., N.Y., Y.L., J. Liu, Y. Cheng and J.Y. analyzed data. J.W. and J.Z. contributed new regents. J.Y., H.L. and M.L.W. prepared the manuscript, and all the authors critically read and approved the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Guoying Wang or Jiansheng Li or Jianbing Yan.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/ng.2484

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