Using Association Mapping in Teosinte to Investigate the Function of Maize Selection-Candidate GenesReportar como inadecuado

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Large-scale screens of the maize genome identified 48 genes that show the putative signature of artificial selection during maize domestication or improvement. These selection-candidate genes may act as quantitative trait loci QTL that control the phenotypic differences between maize and its progenitor, teosinte. The selection-candidate genes appear to be located closer in the genome to domestication QTL than expected by chance.

Methods and Findings

As a step toward defining the traits controlled by these genes, we performed phenotype-genotype association mapping in teosinte for 32 of the 48 plus three other selection-candidate genes. Our analyses assayed 32 phenotypic traits, many of which were altered during maize domestication or improvement. We observed several significant associations between SNPs in the selection-candidate genes and trait variation in teosinte. These included two associations that surpassed the Bonferroni correction and five instances where a gene significantly associated with the same trait in both of our association mapping panels. Despite these significant associations, when compared as a group the selection-candidate genes performed no better than randomly chosen genes.


Our results suggest association analyses can be helpful for identifying traits under the control of selection-candidate genes. Indeed, we present evidence for new functions for several selection-candidate genes. However, with the current set of selection-candidate genes and our association mapping strategy, we found very few significant associations overall and no more than we would have found with randomly chosen genes. We discuss possible reasons that a large number of significant genotype-phenotype associations were not discovered.

Autor: Allison L. Weber , Qiong Zhao, Michael D. McMullen, John F. Doebley



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