Multi-Locus Genome-Wide Association Studies of Fiber-Quality Related Traits in Chinese Early-Maturity Upland Cotton
Frontiers in Plant Science
Early-maturity varieties of upland cotton are becoming increasingly important for farmers to improve their economic benefits through double cropping practices and mechanical harvesting production in China. However, fiber qualities of early-maturing varieties are relatively poor compared with those of middle-and late-maturing ones. Therefore, it is crucial for researchers to elucidate the genetic bases controlling fiber-quality related traits in early-maturity cultivars, and to improve
... cally cotton earliness and fiber quality. Here, multi-locus genome-wide association studies (ML-GWAS) were conducted in a panel consisting of 160 early-maturing cotton accessions. Each accession was genotyped by 72,792 high-quality single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) using specific-locus amplified fragment sequencing (SLAF-seq) approach, and fiber quality-related traits under four environmental conditions were measured. Applying at least three ML-GWAS methods, a total of 70 significant quantitative trait nucleotides (QTNs) were identified to be associated with five objective traits, including fiber length (FL), fiber strength (FS), fiber micronaire (FM), fiber uniformity (FU) and fiber elongation (FE). Among these QTNs, D11_21619830, A05_28352019 and D03_34920546 were found to be significantly associated with FL, FS, and FM, respectively, across at least two environments. Among 96 genes located in the three target genomic regions (A05: 27.95 28.75, D03: 34.52 35.32, and D11: 21.22 22.02 Mbp), six genes (Gh_A05G2325, Gh_A05G2329, Gh_A05G2334, Gh_D11G1853, Gh_D11G1876, and Gh_D11G1879) were detected to be highly expressed in fibers relative to other eight tissues by transcriptome sequencing method in 12 cotton tissues. Together, multiple favorable QTN alleles and six candidate key genes were characterized to regulate fiber development in early-maturity cotton. This will lay a solid foundation for breeding novel cotton varieties with earliness and excellent fiber-quality in the future.