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Genome-wide association analysis reveals seed protein loci as determinants of variations in grain mold resistance in sorghum
Friday, 2021/04/30 | 07:16:30

Habte Nida, Gezahegn GirmaMoges MekonenAlemu TirfessaAmare SeyoumTamirat BejigaChemeda BirhanuKebede DessalegnTsegau SenbetayGetachew AyanaTesfaye TessoGebisa Ejeta & Tesfaye Mengiste

Theoretical and Applied Genetics April 2021; vol. 134:1167–1184

Key message

GWAS analysis revealed variations at loci harboring seed storage, late embryogenesis abundant protein, and a tannin biosynthesis gene associated with sorghum grain mold resistance.


Grain mold is the most important disease of sorghum [Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench]. It starts at the early stages of grain development due to concurrent infection by multiple fungal species. The genetic architecture of resistance to grain mold is poorly understood. Using a diverse set of 635 Ethiopian sorghum accessions, we conducted a multi-stage disease rating for resistance to grain mold under natural infestation in the field. Through genome-wide association analyses with 173,666 SNPs and multiple models, two novel loci were identified that were consistently associated with grain mold resistance across environments. Sequence variation at new loci containing sorghum KAFIRIN gene encoding a seed storage protein affecting seed texture and LATE EMBRYOGENESIS ABUNDANT 3 (LEA3) gene encoding a protein that accumulates in seeds, previously implicated in stress tolerance, were significantly associated with grain mold resistance. The KAFIRIN and LEA3 loci were also significant factors in grain mold resistance in accessions with non-pigmented grains. Moreover, we consistently detected the known SNP (S4_62316425) in TAN1 gene, a regulator of tannin accumulation in sorghum grain to be significantly associated with grain mold resistance. Identification of loci associated with new mechanisms of resistance provides fresh insight into genetic control of the trait, while the highly resistant accessions can serve as sources of resistance genes for breeding. Overall, our association data suggest the critical role of loci harboring seed protein genes and implicate grain chemical and physical properties in sorghum grain mold resistance.


See https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-020-03762-2

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