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Article

Haplotype Networking of GWAS Hits for Citrulline Variation Associated with the Domestication of Watermelon

1
Department of Horticultural Sciences, Texas A&M University, and Texas Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Uvalde, TX 78801, USA
2
Department of Biology and Gus R. Douglass Institute, West Virginia State University, Institute, WV 25112, USA
3
U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Vegetable Laboratory, Charleston, SC 29414, USA
4
Center for Conservation Research, Alcorn State University, 1000 ASU Drive, Lorman, MS 39096, USA
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Authors contributed equally.
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20(21), 5392; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20215392
Received: 17 September 2019 / Revised: 21 October 2019 / Accepted: 26 October 2019 / Published: 29 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Plant Genomics 2019)
Watermelon is a good source of citrulline, a non-protein amino acid. Citrulline has several therapeutic and clinical implications as it produces nitric oxide via arginine. In plants, citrulline plays a pivotal role in nitrogen transport and osmoprotection. The purpose of this study was to identify single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers associated with citrulline metabolism using a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and understand the role of citrulline in watermelon domestication. A watermelon collection consisting of 187 wild, landraces, and cultivated accessions was used to estimate citrulline content. An association analysis involved a total of 12,125 SNPs with a minor allele frequency (MAF)>0.05 in understanding the population structure and phylogeny in light of citrulline accumulation. Wild egusi types and landraces contained low to medium citrulline content, whereas cultivars had higher content, which suggests that obtaining higher content of citrulline is a domesticated trait. GWAS analysis identified candidate genes (ferrochelatase and acetolactate synthase) showing a significant association of SNPs with citrulline content. Haplotype networking indicated positive selection from wild to domesticated watermelon. To our knowledge, this is the first study showing genetic regulation of citrulline variation in plants by using a GWAS strategy. These results provide new insights into the citrulline metabolism in plants and the possibility of incorporating high citrulline as a trait in watermelon breeding programs. View Full-Text
Keywords: citrulline; genome-wide association study; haplotype; watermelon; acetolactate synthase; ferrochelatase citrulline; genome-wide association study; haplotype; watermelon; acetolactate synthase; ferrochelatase
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MDPI and ACS Style

Joshi, V.; Shinde, S.; Nimmakayala, P.; Abburi, V.L.; Alaparthi, S.B.; Lopez-Ortiz, C.; Levi, A.; Panicker, G.; Reddy, U.K. Haplotype Networking of GWAS Hits for Citrulline Variation Associated with the Domestication of Watermelon. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2019, 20, 5392. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20215392

AMA Style

Joshi V, Shinde S, Nimmakayala P, Abburi VL, Alaparthi SB, Lopez-Ortiz C, Levi A, Panicker G, Reddy UK. Haplotype Networking of GWAS Hits for Citrulline Variation Associated with the Domestication of Watermelon. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2019; 20(21):5392. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20215392

Chicago/Turabian Style

Joshi, Vijay, Suhas Shinde, Padma Nimmakayala, Venkata L. Abburi, Suresh B. Alaparthi, Carlos Lopez-Ortiz, Amnon Levi, Girish Panicker, and Umesh K. Reddy. 2019. "Haplotype Networking of GWAS Hits for Citrulline Variation Associated with the Domestication of Watermelon" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 20, no. 21: 5392. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms20215392

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