Mining for low-nitrogen tolerance genes by integrating meta-analysis and large-scale gene expression data from maize

Journal: Euphytica November 2015, Volume 206, Issue 1, pp 133-133

Author: Bowen Luo, Haitao Tang, Hailan Liu, Shunzong Su, Suzhi Zhang, Ling Wu, Dan Liu, Shibin Gao

Abstract:

Nitrogen (N) is the most important macronutrient for plant growth and development. Hence, understanding genetic architectures and functional genes involved in the response to N deficiency can greatly facilitate the development of low-N-tolerant cultivars. In this study, we collected 212 quantitative trait loci (QTL) of agronomically important traits under low-N stress conditions in maize. We then identified 21 consensus QTL (cQTL) strongly induced for low-N tolerance after excluding overlapping cQTL containing QTL simultaneously identified in meta-analyses of studies performed under other environmental conditions. Among the 21 cQTL, 30 candidate maize genes were identified from maize large-scale differential expression data derived from analyses of low-N stress, and the 12 most important maize orthologs were identified using homologous BLAST analyses of genes with known functions in N use efficiency in model plants. Furthermore, maize orthologs associated with low-N tolerance and metabolism were also predicted using large-scale expression data from other model plants. The present genetic loci and candidate genes indicate the molecular mechanisms of low-N tolerance in maize and may provide information for QTL fine mapping and molecular marker-assisted selection.

Link: http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10681-015-1481-5