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Genome-wide haplotype analysis improves trait predictions in Brassica napus hybrids

Jan, Habib U., Guan, Mei, Yao, Min, Liu, Wei, Wei, Dayong, Abbadi, Amine, Zheng, Ming, He, Xin, Chen, Hao, Guan, Chunyun, Nichols, Richard A., Snowdon, Rod J., Hua, Wei, Qian, Lunwen
Plant science 2019 v.283 pp. 157-164
Brassica napus, additive effect, breeding, breeding programs, canola, epistasis, flowering date, general combining ability, genes, genetic markers, genome-wide association study, glucosinolates, haplotypes, hybrids, inbred lines, loci, pollinators, prediction, quantitative trait loci, single nucleotide polymorphism
Combining ability is crucial for parent selection in crop hybrid breeding. Many studies have attempted to provide reliable and quick methods to identify genome regions in parental lines correlating with improved hybrid performance. The local haplotype patterns surrounding densely spaced DNA markers include a large amount of genetic information, and analysis of the relationships between haplotypes and hybrid performance can provide insight into the underlying genome regions which might contribute to enhancing combining ability. Here, we generated 24,403 single-copy, genome-wide SNP loci and calculated the general combining ability (GCA) of 950 hybrids from a diverse panel of 475 pollinators of spring-type canola inbred lines crossed with two testers for days to flowering (DTF) and seed glucosinolate content (GSL). We performed a genome-wide analysis of the haplotypes and detected eight and seven haplotype regions that were significantly associated with the GCA values for DTF and seed GSL, respectively. Additionally, two haplotype blocks containing orthologs of flowering time genes FLOWERING LOCUS T (FT) and FLOWERING LOCUS C (FLC) on chromosome A02 showed additive epistatic interactions influencing flowering time. Moreover, two homoeologous haplotype regions on chromosomes A02 and C02 corresponded to major quantitative trait loci (QTL) for GSL which showed additive effects related to reduction of seed GSL in F1 hybrids. Our study showed that haplotype analysis has the potential to substantially improve the efficiency of hybrid breeding programs.