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Genome-wide association analysis of salt tolerance QTLs with SNP markers in maize (Zea mays L.)

Genes & Genomics 2019년 41권 10호 p.1135 ~ 1145
 ( Xie Yonghong ) - Nantong University School of Life Sciences

 ( Feng Yan ) - Nantong University School of Life Sciences
 ( Chen Qi ) - Nantong University School of Life Sciences
 ( Zhao Feike ) - Nantong University School of Life Sciences
 ( Zhou Shuijuan ) - Nantong University School of Life Sciences
 ( Ding Ying ) - Nantong University School of Life Sciences
 ( Song Xianliang ) - Shandong Agricultural University College of Agronomy
 ( Li Ping ) - Nantong University School of Life Sciences
 ( Wang Baohua ) - Nantong University School of Life Sciences


Background: Salt-tolerant breeding of maize has great significance to the development and utilization of saline?alkaline soil and the maintenance of grain security. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) has been widely used in maize genetics and breeding.

Objective: To discover new salt-tolerant genes in maize by association analysis, which can provide technical supports for the innovation and genetic improvement of salt-tolerant germplasm resources in maize.

Methods: Totally 150 maize inbred lines were genotyped with a high-density chip. GWAS was carried out to identify the significant single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) which were associated with maize salt tolerance. Totally 34,972 SNPs with high quality and diversity were selected from 56,110 SNP markers, which were distributed on 10 chromosomes of maize. The GLM algorithm in TASSEL5.2 was used to analyze the five traits related to salt tolerance.

Results: Using a strict LOD threshold of 4.5, totally 7 SNP loci were identified, which were significantly correlated with plant height change rate and fresh weight change rate. The high density fingerprints of 150 inbred lines were clustered by TASSEL5.2 software to construct genetic clustering map to estimate the genetic distance and the subgroups. The 150 maize inbred lines were divided into two groups: SS group and NSS group, and the SNP loci of the salt-tolerant index showed difference in chromosome distribution. Based on previous studies, we screened 8 candidate genes for salt tolerance in maize and four of them were further validated by real-time quantitative PCR.

Conclusion: Totally 7 SNP loci and 8 candidate genes related to salt tolerance in maize were identified, which will be of special value in molecular breeding of salt-tolerant maize.


Maize inbred line; Salt-tolerant; SNP markers; Association analysis
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