Special Issue "Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops"

A special issue of Genes (ISSN 2073-4425). This special issue belongs to the section "Plant Genetics and Genomics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (25 August 2020).

Printed Edition Available!
A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Joong Hyoun Chin
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Integrative Bio-industrial Engineering, Sejong University, Seoul 05006, Korea
Interests: crop genetics; molecular breeding; plant genomics; abiotic stress; variety development
Dr. Malikarjuna Swamy
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Rice Breeding Platform, International Rice Research Institute, Los Baños, DAPO 4031, Philippines
Interests: crop genetics; breeding; cereals; MAS; genomic selection; QTL; varietal development
Dr. Yeisoo Yu
E-Mail
Guest Editor
DNACare co., ltd., Seoul, Korea
Interests: genomics; bioinformatics; molecular marker; genomic selection; data integration

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

To meet the global food demand of an increasing population, food production has to be increased by 60% by 2050. The main production constraints, such as climate change, biotic stresses, abiotic stresses, soil nutrition deficiency problems, problematic soils, etc., have to be addressed on an urgent basis. More than 50% of human calories are from three major cereals: rice, wheat, and maize.

The harnessing of genetic diversity by novel allele mining assisted by recent advances in biotechnological and bioinformatics tools will enhance the utilization of the hidden treasures in the gene bank. Technology advances in plant breeding, e.g., speed breeding and targeted mutagenesis, will provide some solutions for the biofortification, stress resistance, yield potential, and quality improvement in staple crops.   

The elucidation of the genetic, physiological, and molecular basis of useful traits and the improvement of the improved donors containing multiple traits are key activities for variety development. High-throughput genotyping systems assisted by bioinformatics and data science provide efficient and easy tools for geneticists and breeders. Recently, new breeding techniques applied in some food crops are the game-changers in global food crop market.

With this background, we welcome eminent researchers working on food crops across the world to contribute their high-quality original research manuscripts. critical reviews, and opinion articles covering all the modern food crop genetics and breeding:

  • Plant molecular systems focusing to food crops;
  • Plant genetic diversity—QTL and gene identification utilizing high-throughput genotyping systems and their validation;
  • New breeding techniques in food crops—targeted mutagenesis, genome editing, etc.;
  • Abiotic and biotic stresses—QTL/gene identification and their molecular physiology;
  • Plant nutrition, grain quality improvement, and yield enhancement;
  • Biofortification—higher nutrition in grains for human health improvement and food safety.

Prof. Joong Hyoun Chin
Dr. Malikarjuna Swamy
Dr. Yeisoo Yu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • crop genetics
  • molecular breeding
  • genetic diversity
  • abiotic stress
  • biotic stress
  • plant nutrition
  • biofortification
  • QTLs
  • genome editing
  • staple food crops

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

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Article
Genetic Diversity and Genome-Wide Association Study of Seed Aspect Ratio Using a High-Density SNP Array in Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.)
Genes 2021, 12(1), 2; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes12010002 - 22 Dec 2020
Viewed by 826
Abstract
Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is one of the important oil crops of the world. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the genetic diversity of 384 peanut germplasms including 100 Korean germplasms and 284 core collections from the United States Department of [...] Read more.
Peanut (Arachis hypogaea L.) is one of the important oil crops of the world. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the genetic diversity of 384 peanut germplasms including 100 Korean germplasms and 284 core collections from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) using an Axiom_Arachis array with 58K single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). We evaluated the evolutionary relationships among 384 peanut germplasms using a genome-wide association study (GWAS) of seed aspect ratio data processed by ImageJ software. In total, 14,030 filtered polymorphic SNPs were identified from the peanut 58K SNP array. We identified five SNPs with significant associations to seed aspect ratio on chromosomes Aradu.A09, Aradu.A10, Araip.B08, and Araip.B09. AX-177640219 on chromosome Araip.B08 was the most significantly associated marker in GAPIT and Regularization method. Phosphoenolpyruvate carboxylase (PEPC) was found among the eleven genes within a linkage disequilibrium (LD) of the significant SNPs on Araip.B08 and could have a strong causal effect in determining seed aspect ratio. The results of the present study provide information and methods that are useful for further genetic and genomic studies as well as molecular breeding programs in peanuts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Characterization of Quantitative Trait Loci for Germination and Coleoptile Length under Low-Temperature Condition Using Introgression Lines Derived from an Interspecific Cross in Rice
Genes 2020, 11(10), 1200; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11101200 - 15 Oct 2020
Viewed by 601
Abstract
Previously, five putative quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for low-temperature germination (LTG) have been detected using 96 BC3F8 lines derived from an interspecific cross between the Korean japonica cultivar “Hwaseong” and Oryza rufipogon. In the present study, two introgression lines, [...] Read more.
Previously, five putative quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for low-temperature germination (LTG) have been detected using 96 BC3F8 lines derived from an interspecific cross between the Korean japonica cultivar “Hwaseong” and Oryza rufipogon. In the present study, two introgression lines, CR1517 and CR1518, were used as parents to detect additional QTLs and analyze interactions among QTLs for LTG. The F2 population (154 plants) along with parental lines, Hwaseong and O. rufipogon, were evaluated for LTG and coleoptile length under low-temperature conditions (13 °C). Among five QTLs for LTG, two major QTLs, qLTG1 and qLTG3, were consistently detected at 6 and 7 days after incubation. Three minor QTLs were detected on chromosomes 8 and 10. Two QTLs, qLTG10.1 and qLTG10.2, showing linkage on chromosome 10, exerted opposite effects with the Hwaseong allele at qLTG10.2 and the O. rufipogon allele at qLTG10.1 respectively, in turn, increasing LTG. Interactions among QTLs were not significant, implying that the QTLs act in an additive manner. Near-isogenic line plants with the combination of favorable alleles from O. rufipogon and Hwaseong exhibited higher LTG than two introgression lines. With regard to coleoptile length, three QTLs observed on chromosomes 1, 3, and 8 were colocalized with QTLs for LTG, suggesting the pleiotropy of the single gene at each locus. According to the results, the introgression of favorable O. rufipogon alleles could hasten the development of rice with high LTG and high coleoptile elongation in japonica cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Drought-Tolerance Gene Identification Using Genome Comparison and Co-Expression Network Analysis of Chromosome Substitution Lines in Rice
Genes 2020, 11(10), 1197; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11101197 - 14 Oct 2020
Viewed by 813
Abstract
Drought stress limits plant growth and productivity. It triggers many responses by inducing changes in plant morphology and physiology. KDML105 rice is a key rice variety in Thailand and is normally grown in the northeastern part of the country. The chromosome segment substitution [...] Read more.
Drought stress limits plant growth and productivity. It triggers many responses by inducing changes in plant morphology and physiology. KDML105 rice is a key rice variety in Thailand and is normally grown in the northeastern part of the country. The chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) were developed by transferring putative drought tolerance loci (QTLs) on chromosome 1, 3, 4, 8, or 9 into the KDML105 rice genome. CSSL104 is a drought-tolerant line with higher net photosynthesis and leaf water potential than KDML105 rice. The analysis of CSSL104 gene regulation identified the loci associated with these traits via gene co-expression network analysis. Most of the predicted genes are involved in the photosynthesis process. These genes are also conserved in Arabidopsis thaliana. Seven genes encoding chloroplast proteins were selected for further analysis through characterization of Arabidopsis tagged mutants. The response of these mutants to drought stress was analyzed daily for seven days after treatment by scoring green tissue areas via the PlantScreen™ XYZ system. Mutation of these genes affected green areas of the plant and stability index under drought stress, suggesting their involvement in drought tolerance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
A Genome-Wide Analysis of the Pentatricopeptide Repeat (PPR) Gene Family and PPR-Derived Markers for Flesh Color in Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus)
Genes 2020, 11(10), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11101125 - 24 Sep 2020
Viewed by 990
Abstract
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is an economically important fruit crop grown for consumption of its large edible fruit flesh. Pentatricopeptide-repeat (PPR) encoding genes, one of the large gene families in plants, are important RNA-binding proteins involved in the regulation of plant growth [...] Read more.
Watermelon (Citrullus lanatus) is an economically important fruit crop grown for consumption of its large edible fruit flesh. Pentatricopeptide-repeat (PPR) encoding genes, one of the large gene families in plants, are important RNA-binding proteins involved in the regulation of plant growth and development by influencing the expression of organellar mRNA transcripts. However, systematic information regarding the PPR gene family in watermelon remains largely unknown. In this comprehensive study, we identified and characterized a total of 422 C. lanatus PPR (ClaPPR) genes in the watermelon genome. Most ClaPPRs were intronless and were mapped across 12 chromosomes. Phylogenetic analysis showed that ClaPPR proteins could be divided into P and PLS subfamilies. Gene duplication analysis suggested that 11 pairs of segmentally duplicated genes existed. In-silico expression pattern analysis demonstrated that ClaPPRs may participate in the regulation of fruit development and ripening processes. Genotyping of 70 lines using 4 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) from 4 ClaPPRs resulted in match rates of over 0.87 for each validated SNPs in correlation with the unique phenotypes of flesh color, and could be used in differentiating red, yellow, or orange watermelons in breeding programs. Our results provide significant insights for a comprehensive understanding of PPR genes and recommend further studies on their roles in watermelon fruit growth and ripening, which could be utilized for cultivar development of watermelon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Comparative Transcriptomics and Co-Expression Networks Reveal Tissue- and Genotype-Specific Responses of qDTYs to Reproductive-Stage Drought Stress in Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
Genes 2020, 11(10), 1124; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11101124 - 24 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1052
Abstract
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is more sensitive to drought stress than other cereals. To dissect molecular mechanisms underlying drought-tolerant yield in rice, we applied differential expression and co-expression network approaches to transcriptomes from flag-leaf and emerging panicle tissues of a drought-tolerant yield [...] Read more.
Rice (Oryza sativa L.) is more sensitive to drought stress than other cereals. To dissect molecular mechanisms underlying drought-tolerant yield in rice, we applied differential expression and co-expression network approaches to transcriptomes from flag-leaf and emerging panicle tissues of a drought-tolerant yield introgression line, DTY-IL, and the recurrent parent Swarna, under moderate reproductive-stage drought stress. Protein turnover and efficient reactive oxygen species scavenging were found to be the driving factors in both tissues. In the flag-leaf, the responses further included maintenance of photosynthesis and cell wall reorganization, while in the panicle biosynthesis of secondary metabolites was found to play additional roles. Hub genes of importance in differential drought responses included an expansin in the flag-leaf and two peroxidases in the panicle. Overlaying differential expression data with allelic variation in DTY-IL quantitative trait loci allowed for the prioritization of candidate genes. They included a differentially regulated auxin-responsive protein, with DTY-IL-specific amino acid changes in conserved domains, as well as a protein kinase with a DTY-IL-specific frameshift in the C-terminal region. The approach highlights how the integration of differential expression and allelic variation can aid in the discovery of mechanism and putative causal contribution underlying quantitative trait loci for drought-tolerant yield. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Genomic Analysis of Selected Maize Landraces from Sahel and Coastal West Africa Reveals Their Variability and Potential for Genetic Enhancement
Genes 2020, 11(9), 1054; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11091054 - 07 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 899
Abstract
Genetic adaptation of maize to the increasingly unpredictable climatic conditions is an essential prerequisite for achievement of food security and sustainable development goals in sub-Saharan Africa. The landraces of maize; which have not served as sources of improved germplasm; are invaluable sources of [...] Read more.
Genetic adaptation of maize to the increasingly unpredictable climatic conditions is an essential prerequisite for achievement of food security and sustainable development goals in sub-Saharan Africa. The landraces of maize; which have not served as sources of improved germplasm; are invaluable sources of novel genetic variability crucial for achieving this objective. The overall goal of this study was to assess the genetic diversity and population structure of a maize panel of 208 accessions; comprising landrace gene pools from Burkina Faso (58), Ghana (43), and Togo (89), together with reference populations (18) from the maize improvement program of the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Genotyping the maize panel with 5974 DArTseq-SNP markers revealed immense genetic diversity indicated by average expected heterozygosity (0.36), observed heterozygosity (0.5), and polymorphic information content (0.29). Model-based population structure; neighbor-joining tree; discriminant analysis of principal component; and principal coordinate analyses all separated the maize panel into three major sub-populations; each capable of providing a wide range of allelic variation. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that 86% of the variation was within individuals; while 14% was attributable to differences among gene pools. The Burkinabe gene pool was strongly differentiated from all the others (genetic differentiation values >0.20), with no gene flow (Nm) to the reference populations (Nm = 0.98). Thus; this gene pool could be a target for novel genetic variation for maize improvement. The results of the present study confirmed the potential of this maize panel as an invaluable genetic resource for future design of association mapping studies to speed-up the introgression of this novel variation into the existing breeding pipelines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
PEG-Delivered CRISPR-Cas9 Ribonucleoproteins System for Gene-Editing Screening of Maize Protoplasts
Genes 2020, 11(9), 1029; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11091029 - 02 Sep 2020
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1627
Abstract
Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 technology allows the modification of DNA sequences in vivo at the location of interest. Although CRISPR-Cas9 can produce genomic changes that do not require DNA vector carriers, the use of transgenesis for the stable integration of [...] Read more.
Clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR)-Cas9 technology allows the modification of DNA sequences in vivo at the location of interest. Although CRISPR-Cas9 can produce genomic changes that do not require DNA vector carriers, the use of transgenesis for the stable integration of DNA coding for gene-editing tools into plant genomes is still the most used approach. However, it can generate unintended transgenic integrations, while Cas9 prolonged-expression can increase cleavage at off-target sites. In addition, the selection of genetically modified cells from millions of treated ones, especially plant cells, is still challenging. In a protoplast system, previous studies claimed that such pitfalls would be averted by delivering pre-assembled ribonucleoprotein complexes (RNPs) composed of purified recombinant Cas9 enzyme and in vitro transcribed guide RNA (gRNA) molecules. We, therefore, aimed to develop the first DNA-free protocol for gene-editing in maize and introduced RNPs into their protoplasts with polyethylene glycol (PEG) 4000. We performed an effective transformation of maize protoplasts using different gRNAs sequences targeting the inositol phosphate kinase gene, and by applying two different exposure times to RNPs. Using a low-cost Sanger sequencing protocol, we observed an efficiency rate of 0.85 up to 5.85%, which is equivalent to DNA-free protocols used in other plant species. A positive correlation was displayed between the exposure time and mutation frequency. The mutation frequency was gRNA sequence- and exposure time-dependent. In the present study, we demonstrated that the suitability of RNP transfection was proven as an effective screening platform for gene-editing in maize. This efficient and relatively easy assay method for the selection of gRNA suitable for the editing of the gene of interest will be highly useful for genome editing in maize, since the genome size and GC-content are large and high in the maize genome, respectively. Nevertheless, the large amplitude of mutations at the target site require scrutiny when checking mutations at off-target sites and potential safety concerns. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Development of Chromosome Segment Substitution Lines (CSSLs) Derived from Guangxi Wild Rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff.) under Rice (Oryza sativa L.) Background and the Identification of QTLs for Plant Architecture, Agronomic Traits and Cold Tolerance
Genes 2020, 11(9), 980; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11090980 - 22 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1043
Abstract
Common wild rice contains valuable resources of novel alleles for rice improvement. It is well known that genetic populations provide the basis for a wide range of genetic and genomic studies. In particular, chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) ais a powerful tool for [...] Read more.
Common wild rice contains valuable resources of novel alleles for rice improvement. It is well known that genetic populations provide the basis for a wide range of genetic and genomic studies. In particular, chromosome segment substitution lines (CSSLs) ais a powerful tool for fine mapping of quantitative traits, new gene discovery and marker-assisted breeding. In this study, 132 CSSLs were developed from a cultivated rice (Oryza sativa) cultivar (93-11) and common wild rice (Oryza rufipogon Griff. DP30) by selfing-crossing, backcrossing and marker-assisted selection (MAS). Based on the high-throughput sequencing of the 93-11 and DP30, 285 pairs of Insertion-deletions (InDel) markers were selected with an average distance of 1.23 Mb. The length of this DP30-CSSLs library was 536.4 cM. The coverage rate of substitution lines cumulatively overlapping the whole genome of DP30 was about 91.55%. DP30-CSSLs were used to analyze the variation for 17 traits leading to the detection of 36 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) with significant phenotypic effects. A cold-tolerant line (RZ) was selected to construct a secondary mapping F2 population, which revealed that qCT2.1 is in the 1.7 Mb region of chromosome 2. These CSSLs may, therefore, provide powerful tools for genome wide large-scale gene discovery in wild rice. This research will also facilitate fine mapping and cloning of QTLs and genome-wide study of wild rice. Moreover, these CSSLs will provide a foundation for rice variety improvement. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Characterization of QTLs and Candidate Genes for Days to Heading in Rice Recombinant Inbred Lines
Genes 2020, 11(9), 957; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11090957 - 19 Aug 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 827
Abstract
Understanding the gene mechanisms controlling days to heading (DH) is important in rice breeding for adaption in the target environment. Using a recombinant inbred line population derived from the cross between two japonica rice cultivars, Koshihikari and Baegilmi, we identified three consistent quantitative [...] Read more.
Understanding the gene mechanisms controlling days to heading (DH) is important in rice breeding for adaption in the target environment. Using a recombinant inbred line population derived from the cross between two japonica rice cultivars, Koshihikari and Baegilmi, we identified three consistent quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for DH for two years, qDH3, qDH6, and qDH7 on chromosomes 3, 6, and 7, respectively. While Baegilmi contributed the allele for early heading at qDH6 and qDH7 with the additive effect of five days each, Koshihikari contributed the allele for early heading at qDH3 with the additive effect of three days. Notably, pyramiding two or more alleles for early heading at these QTLs accelerated heading effectively. Sequencing of Hd16, Hd1, and Ghd7, the previously known heading date genes underlying qDH3, qDH6, and qDH7, respectively, revealed that Baegilmi and Koshihikari carry different alleles at the three genes. Molecular markers were developed to screen the allelic compositions of the three genes among 295 Korean commercial rice cultivars. The results showed that few cultivars carry alleles for early heading at the three genes, highlighting that DH can be further accelerated and fine-tuned in breeding programs by combining the desirable alleles of Hd16, Hd1, and Ghd7. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Drought-Induced Regulatory Cascades and Their Effects on the Nutritional Quality of Developing Potato Tubers
Genes 2020, 11(8), 864; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11080864 - 30 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1526
Abstract
Competition for scarce water resources and the continued effects of global warming exacerbate current constraints on potato crop production. While plants’ response to drought in above-ground tissues has been well documented, the regulatory cascades and subsequent nutritive changes in developing tubers have been [...] Read more.
Competition for scarce water resources and the continued effects of global warming exacerbate current constraints on potato crop production. While plants’ response to drought in above-ground tissues has been well documented, the regulatory cascades and subsequent nutritive changes in developing tubers have been largely unexplored. Using the commercial Canadian cultivar “Vigor”, plants were subjected to a gradual drought treatment under high tunnels causing a 4 °C increase in the canopy temperature. Tubers were sampled for RNAseq and metabolite analysis. Approximately 2600 genes and 3898 transcripts were differentially expressed by at least 4-fold in drought-stressed potato tubers, with 75% and 69% being down-regulated, respectively. A further 229 small RNAs were implicated in gene regulation during drought. Expression of several small RNA clusters negatively correlated with expression of their six target patatin genes, suggesting involvement in the regulation of storage proteins during drought. The comparison of protein homologues between Solanum tuberosum L. and Arabidopsis thaliana L. indicated that down-regulated genes were associated with phenylpropanoid and carotenoid biosynthesis. As is indicative of reduced flow through the phenylpropanoid pathway, phenylalanine accumulated in drought-stressed tubers. This suggests that there may be nutritive implications to drought stress occurring during the potato tuber bulking phase in sensitive cultivars. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Insights into the Genetic Architecture of Bran Friability and Water Retention Capacity, Two Important Traits for Whole Grain End-Use Quality in Winter Wheat
Genes 2020, 11(8), 838; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11080838 - 23 Jul 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 852
Abstract
Bran friability (particle size distribution after milling) and water retention capacity (WRC) impact wheat bran functionality in whole grain milling and baking applications. The goal of this study was to identify genomic regions and underlying genes that may be responsible for these traits. [...] Read more.
Bran friability (particle size distribution after milling) and water retention capacity (WRC) impact wheat bran functionality in whole grain milling and baking applications. The goal of this study was to identify genomic regions and underlying genes that may be responsible for these traits. The Hard Winter Wheat Association Mapping Panel, which comprised 299 lines from breeding programs in the Great Plains region of the US, was used in a genome-wide association study. Bran friability ranged from 34.5% to 65.9% (median, 51.1%) and WRC ranged from 159% to 458% (median, 331%). Two single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) on chromosome 5D were significantly associated with bran friability, accounting for 11–12% of the phenotypic variation. One of these SNPs was located within the Puroindoline-b gene, which is known for influencing endosperm texture. Two SNPs on chromosome 4A were tentatively associated with WRC, accounting for 4.6% and 4.4% of phenotypic variation. The favorable alleles at the SNP sites were present in only 15% (friability) and 34% (WRC) of lines, indicating a need to develop new germplasm for these whole-grain end-use quality traits. Validation of these findings in independent populations will be useful for breeding winter wheat cultivars with improved functionality for whole grain food applications. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Characterization of the Common Japonica-Originated Genomic Regions in the High-Yielding Varieties Developed from Inter-Subspecific Crosses in Temperate Rice (Oryza sativa L.)
Genes 2020, 11(5), 562; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11050562 - 18 May 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1146
Abstract
The inter-subspecific crossing between indica and japonica subspecies in rice have been utilized to improve the yield potential of temperate rice. In this study, a comparative study of the genomic regions in the eight high-yielding varieties (HYVs) was conducted with those of the [...] Read more.
The inter-subspecific crossing between indica and japonica subspecies in rice have been utilized to improve the yield potential of temperate rice. In this study, a comparative study of the genomic regions in the eight high-yielding varieties (HYVs) was conducted with those of the four non-HYVs. The Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) mapping on the Nipponbare reference genome identified a total of 14 common genomic regions of japonica-originated alleles. Interestingly, the HYVs shared japonica-originated genomic regions on nine chromosomes, although they were developed through different breeding programs. A panel of 94 varieties was classified into four varietal groups with 38 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers from 38 genes residing in the japonica-originated genomic regions and 16 additional trait-specific SNPs. As expected, the japonica-originated genomic regions were only present in the japonica (JAP) and HYV groups, except for Chr4-1 and Chr4-2. The Wx gene, located within Chr6-1, was present in the HYV and JAP variety groups, while the yield-related genes were conserved as indica alleles in HYVs. The japonica-originated genomic regions and alleles shared by HYVs can be employed in molecular breeding programs to further develop the HYVs in temperate rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Study of Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) Associated with Allelopathic Trait in Rice
Genes 2020, 11(5), 470; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11050470 - 26 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 777
Abstract
In rice there are few genetic studies reported for allelopathy traits, which signify the ability of plants to inhibit or stimulate growth of other plants in the environment, by exuding chemicals. QTL analysis for allelopathic traits were conducted with 98 F8 RILs developed [...] Read more.
In rice there are few genetic studies reported for allelopathy traits, which signify the ability of plants to inhibit or stimulate growth of other plants in the environment, by exuding chemicals. QTL analysis for allelopathic traits were conducted with 98 F8 RILs developed from the cross between the high allelopathic parents of ‘Sathi’ and non-allelopathic parents of ‘Nong-an’. The performance of allelopathic traits were evaluated with inhibition rate on root length, shoot length, total length, root weight, shoot weight, and total weight of lettuce as a receiver plant. With 785 polymorphic DNA markers, we constructed a linkage map showing a total of 2489.75 cM genetic length and 3.17 cM of average genetic distance between each adjacent marker. QTL analysis detected on QTL regions on chromosome 8 responsible for the inhibition of shoot length and inhibition of total length. The qISL-8 explained 20.38% of the phenotypic variation for the inhibition on the shoot length. The qITL-8 explained 14.93% of the phenotypic variation for the inhibition on total length. The physical distance of the detected QTL region was 194 Kbp where 31 genes are located. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
A New SNP in Rice Gene Encoding Pyruvate Phosphate Dikinase (PPDK) Associated with Floury Endosperm
Genes 2020, 11(4), 465; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11040465 - 24 Apr 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 882
Abstract
Rice varieties with suitable flour-making qualities are required to promote the rice processed-food industry and to boost rice consumption. A rice mutation, Namil(SA)-flo1, produces grains with floury endosperm. Overall, grains with low grain hardness, low starch damage, and fine particle size are more [...] Read more.
Rice varieties with suitable flour-making qualities are required to promote the rice processed-food industry and to boost rice consumption. A rice mutation, Namil(SA)-flo1, produces grains with floury endosperm. Overall, grains with low grain hardness, low starch damage, and fine particle size are more suitable for use in flour processing grains with waxy, dull endosperm with normal grain hardness and a high amylose content. In this study, fine mapping found a C to T single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in exon 2 of the gene encoding cytosolic pyruvate phosphate dikinase (cyOsPPDK). The SNP resulted in a change of serine to phenylalanine acid at amino acid position 101. The gene was named FLOURY ENDOSPERM 4-5 (FLO4-5). Co-segregation analysis with the developed cleaved amplified polymorphic sequence (CAPS) markers revealed co-segregation between the floury phenotype and the flo4-5. This CAPS marker could be applied directly for marker-assisted selection. Real-time RT-PCR experiments revealed that PPDK was expressed at considerably higher levels in the flo4-5 mutant than in the wild type during the grain filling stage. Plastid ADP-glucose pyrophosphorylase small subunit (AGPS2a and AGPS2b) and soluble starch synthase (SSIIb and SSIIc) also exhibited enhanced expression in the flo4-5 mutant. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs) Associated with Microspore Culture in Raphanus sativus L. (Radish)
Genes 2020, 11(3), 337; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11030337 - 21 Mar 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1067
Abstract
The radish is a highly self-incompatible plant, and consequently it is difficult to produce homozygous lines. Bud pollination in cross-fertilization plants should be done by opening immature pollen and attaching pollen to mature flowers. It accordingly takes a lot of time and effort [...] Read more.
The radish is a highly self-incompatible plant, and consequently it is difficult to produce homozygous lines. Bud pollination in cross-fertilization plants should be done by opening immature pollen and attaching pollen to mature flowers. It accordingly takes a lot of time and effort to develop lines with fixed alleles. In the current study, a haploid breeding method has been applied to obtain homozygous plants in a short period of time by doubling chromosomes through the induction of a plant body in the haploid cells, in order to shorten the time to breed inbred lines. We constructed genetic maps with an F1 population derived by crossing parents that show a superior and inferior ability to regenerate microspores, respectively. Genetic maps were constructed from the maternal and parental maps, separately, using the two-way pseudo-testcross model. The phenotype of the regeneration rate was examined by microspore cultures and a quantitative trait loci (QTL) analysis was performed based on the regeneration rate. From the results of the culture of microspores in the F1 population, more than half of the group did not regenerate, and only a few showed a high regeneration rate. A total of five significant QTLs were detected in the F1 population, and five candidate genes were found based on the results. These candidate genes are divided into two classes, and appear to be related to either PRC2 subunits or auxin synthesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Mapping-by-Sequencing via MutMap Identifies a Mutation in ZmCLE7 Underlying Fasciation in a Newly Developed EMS Mutant Population in an Elite Tropical Maize Inbred
Genes 2020, 11(3), 281; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11030281 - 06 Mar 2020
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 1928
Abstract
Induced point mutations are important genetic resources for their ability to create hypo- and hypermorphic alleles that are useful for understanding gene functions and breeding. However, such mutant populations have only been developed for a few temperate maize varieties, mainly B73 and W22, [...] Read more.
Induced point mutations are important genetic resources for their ability to create hypo- and hypermorphic alleles that are useful for understanding gene functions and breeding. However, such mutant populations have only been developed for a few temperate maize varieties, mainly B73 and W22, yet no tropical maize inbred lines have been mutagenized and made available to the public to date. We developed a novel Ethyl Methanesulfonate (EMS) induced mutation resource in maize comprising 2050 independent M2 mutant families in the elite tropical maize inbred ML10. By phenotypic screening, we showed that this population is of comparable quality with other mutagenized populations in maize. To illustrate the usefulness of this population for gene discovery, we performed rapid mapping-by-sequencing to clone a fasciated-ear mutant and identify a causal promoter deletion in ZmCLE7 (CLE7). Our mapping procedure does not require crossing to an unrelated parent, thus is suitable for mapping subtle traits and ones affected by heterosis. This first EMS population in tropical maize is expected to be very useful for the maize research community. Also, the EMS mutagenesis and rapid mapping-by-sequencing pipeline described here illustrate the power of performing forward genetics in diverse maize germplasms of choice, which can lead to novel gene discovery due to divergent genetic backgrounds. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Article
Genome-Wide Association Study (GWAS) for Mesocotyl Elongation in Rice (Oryza sativa L.) under Multiple Culture Conditions
Genes 2020, 11(1), 49; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11010049 - 31 Dec 2019
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 1825
Abstract
Mesocotyl is a crucial organ for pushing buds out of soil, which plays a vital role in seedling emergence and establishment in dry direct-seeded rice. However, the genetic mechanisms of mesocotyl elongation remains unclear. In our study, 208 rice accessions were used to [...] Read more.
Mesocotyl is a crucial organ for pushing buds out of soil, which plays a vital role in seedling emergence and establishment in dry direct-seeded rice. However, the genetic mechanisms of mesocotyl elongation remains unclear. In our study, 208 rice accessions were used to identify the SNPs significantly associated with mesocotyl length under various culture conditions, including sand, water and soil. The mesocotyl length ranges from 0 to 4.88 cm, 0 to 3.99 cm and 0 to 4.51 cm in sand, water and soil covering, respectively. A total of 2,338,336 SNPs were discovered by re-sequencing of 208 rice accessions. Genome-wide association study (GWAS) based on mixed linear model (MLM) was conducted and 16 unique loci were identified on chromosomes 1, 2 (2), 3, 4, 5 (2), 6 (2), 7, 8, 9 (2) and 12 (3), respectively, explaining phenotypic variations ranging from 6.3 to 15.9%. Among these loci, 12 were stable across two or more environments. Ten out of the sixteen loci coincided with known genes or quantitative trait locus (QTL), whereas the other six were potentially novel loci. Furthermore, five high-confidence candidate genes related to mesocotyl elongation were identified on chromosomes 1, 3, 5, 9 and 12. Moreover, qRT-PCR analysis showed that all the five genes showed significant expression difference between short-mesocotyl accessions and long-mesocotyl accessions. This study provides new insights into the genetic architecture of rice mesocotyl, the associated SNPs and germplasms with long mesocotyl could be useful in the breeding of mechanized dry direct-seeded rice. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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Review

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Review
The Use of Genetic and Gene Technologies in Shaping Modern Rapeseed Cultivars (Brassica napus L.)
Genes 2020, 11(10), 1161; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11101161 - 30 Sep 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1064
Abstract
Since their domestication, Brassica oilseed species have undergone progressive transformation allied with the development of breeding and molecular technologies. The canola (Brassica napus) crop has rapidly expanded globally in the last 30 years with intensive innovations in canola varieties, providing for [...] Read more.
Since their domestication, Brassica oilseed species have undergone progressive transformation allied with the development of breeding and molecular technologies. The canola (Brassica napus) crop has rapidly expanded globally in the last 30 years with intensive innovations in canola varieties, providing for a wider range of markets apart from the food industry. The breeding efforts of B. napus, the main source of canola oil and canola meal, have been mainly focused on improving seed yield, oil quality, and meal quality along with disease resistance, abiotic stress tolerance, and herbicide resistance. The revolution in genetics and gene technologies, including genetic mapping, molecular markers, genomic tools, and gene technology, especially gene editing tools, has allowed an understanding of the complex genetic makeup and gene functions in the major bioprocesses of the Brassicales, especially Brassica oil crops. Here, we provide an overview on the contributions of these technologies in improving the major traits of B. napus and discuss their potential use to accomplish new improvement targets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Recent Advances in Genetics and Breeding of Major Staple Food Crops)
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