Functional screening of willow alleles in Arabidopsis combined with QTL mapping in willow (Salix) identifies SxMAX4 as a coppicing response gene

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Salmon, J., Ward, S. P., Hanley, S. J., Leyser, O. and Karp, A. 2014. Functional screening of willow alleles in Arabidopsis combined with QTL mapping in willow (Salix) identifies SxMAX4 as a coppicing response gene. Plant Biotechnology Journal. 12 (4), pp. 480-491.

AuthorsSalmon, J., Ward, S. P., Hanley, S. J., Leyser, O. and Karp, A.
Abstract

Willows (Salix spp.) are important biomass crops due to their ability to grow rapidly with low fertilizer inputs and ease of cultivation in short-rotation coppice cycles. They are relatively undomesticated and highly diverse, but functional testing to identify useful allelic variation is time-consuming in trees and transformation is not yet possible in willow. Arabidopsis is heralded as a model plant from which knowledge can be transferred to advance the improvement of less tractable species. Here, knowledge and methodologies from Arabidopsis were successfully used to identify a gene influencing stem number in coppiced willows, a complex trait of key biological and industrial relevance. The strigolactone-related More AXillary growth (MAX) genes were considered candidates due to their role in shoot branching. We previously demonstrated that willow and Arabidopsis show similar response to strigolactone and that transformation rescue of Arabidopsis max mutants with willow genes could be used to detect allelic differences. Here, this approach was used to screen 45 SxMAX1, SxMAX2, SxMAX3 and SxMAX4 alleles cloned from 15 parents of 11 mapping populations varying in shoot-branching traits. Single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) frequencies were locus dependent, ranging from 29.2 to 74.3 polymorphic sites per kb. SxMAX alleles were 98%-99% conserved at the amino acid level, but different protein products varying in their ability to rescue Arabidopsis max mutants were identified. One poor rescuing allele, SxMAX4D, segregated in a willow mapping population where its presence was associated with increased shoot resprouting after coppicing and colocated with a QTL for this trait.

KeywordsBiotechnology & Applied Microbiology; Plant Sciences
Year of Publication2014
JournalPlant Biotechnology Journal
Journal citation12 (4), pp. 480-491
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1111/pbi.12154
PubMed ID24393130
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Funder project or codeMaximising carbon harvest from perennial crops
Cropping Carbon (CC) [ISPG]
Accelerating breeding for biomass yield in short rotation coppice willow by exploiting knowledge of shoot development in Arabidopsis
DEFRA NF0424
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online07 Jan 2014
Publication process dates
Accepted25 Nov 2013
Copyright licenseCC BY
PublisherWiley
ISSN1467-7644

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