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Association of candidate genes with drought tolerance traits in zoysiagrass germplasm

Guo, Hailin, Wang, Yi, Zhang, Bing, Li, Dandan, Chen, Jingbo, Zong, Junqing, Li, Jianjian, Liu, Jianxiu, Jiang, Yiwei
Journal of plant physiology 2019 v.237 pp. 61-71
NADH dehydrogenase, Zoysia, air temperature, alleles, allelic variation, amino acid substitution, antioxidants, betaine-aldehyde dehydrogenase, canopy, catalase, chlorophyll, drought tolerance, genetic markers, germplasm, grasses, greenhouses, homeostasis, kinship, leaves, loci, metabolism, perennials, rhizomes, single nucleotide polymorphism, transcription factors, water content, water stress, wilting
Drought stress negatively influences the growth and physiology of perennial grasses. The objective of this study was to identify associations of candidate genes with drought tolerance traits in 96 zoysiagrass (Zoysia Willd.) accessions. Germplasm varied largely in leaf wilting, canopy and air temperature difference (CAD), leaf water content (LWC), chlorophyll fluorescence (Fv/Fm), leaf dry weight (LDW), stolon dry weight (SDW), rhizome dry weight (RZW), and root dry weight (RDW) under drought stress across the two experiments in 2014 and 2015 in a greenhouse. The population exhibited three subgroups based on molecular marker analysis and had minimum relative kinship. Associations between single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in BADH encoding betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase, DREB1 encoding DREB-like protein 1, Ndhf encoding NADH dehydrogenase subunit F, CAT encoding catalase, and VP1 encoding H+-pyrophosphatase were analyzed with trait under drought stress (D) and relative values compared to the control (R). Twenty-seven mark and trait associations were detected in year 2014, 2015, and a two-year combination across four genes, including 13 associations in 7 SNP loci in BADH, 9 associations in 5 SNP loci in DREB1, 3 associations in one SNP locus in Ndhf, and 2 associations in one SNP locus in CAT. Of them, one SNP in BADH was associated with D-RDW or D-SDW, three SNPs in DREB1 were associated with D-RZW, D-RDW, R-LWC, and D-CAD, and one SNP in CAT was associated with D-SDW. Nucleotide changes in these SNP loci caused non-synonymous amino acid substitutions. The results indicated that allelic diversity in genes involved in antioxidant metabolism, osmotic homeostasis, and dehydration responsive transcription factor could contribute to growth and physiological variations in zoysiagrass under drought stress.