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Genome-wide association study identifies acyl-lipid metabolism candidate genes involved in the genetic control of natural variation for seed fatty acid traits in Brassica napus L.

Elodie Gazave, Erica E. Tassone, Matheus Baseggio, Michelle Cryder, Kelli Byriel, Emily Oblath, Shiloh Lueschow, Dave Poss, Cody Hardy, Megan Wingerson, James B. Davis, Hussein Abdel-Haleem, David M. Grant, Jerry L. Hatfield, Terry A. Isbell, Merle F. Vigil, John M. Dyer, Matthew A. Jenks, Jack Brown, Michael A. Gore, Duke Pauli
Industrial crops and products 2020 v.145 pp. 112080
Brassica napus, enzymes, fatty acids, genes, genetic improvement, genome-wide association study, lipid content, marker-assisted selection, metabolism, phenotypic variation, prediction, renewable energy sources, seed characteristics, seed oils, single nucleotide polymorphism, United States
Brassica napus L. represents a potential plant feedstock for the sustainable production of hydrotreated renewable fuels needed to support carbon-based energy production. However, to increase the use of plant-derived oils for energy needs, breeding efforts are required to optimize the amount and profile of fatty acids (FAs) contained in the oil extracted from B. napus seed to meet demands of the various market categories. To this end, we analyzed the genetic basis of FA content and composition of seed from a diverse panel of spring-type B. napus accessions evaluated at four US locations across multiple years. The extent of phenotypic variations for total oil content, nine FA compounds, and 14 derivative traits were found, in general, to be highly heritable. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted that detected 53 SNPs significantly associated with one or more of the 24 FA seed traits, resulting in the implicated genetic role of 12 candidate genes, four of which had two homologs each, from the acyl-lipid pathway. To our knowledge, the two detected homologs of 3-Ketoacyl-CoA thiolase (KAT), have never been associated with seed oil traits in B. napus. Through the application of whole-genome prediction, the 24 FA seed traits were generally found to have moderately high predictive abilities (70% of traits with abilities > 0.70), suggesting that these traits are highly amenable to genomic selection. Overall, our results contribute to the expanding body of knowledge regarding key enzymes in the acyl-lipid pathway at the quantitative genetic level and illustrate how genomics-assisted breeding could be leveraged to genetically improve FA seed traits in B. napus.