A Systems genetics approach identifies gene regulatory networks associated with fatty acid composition in brassica rapa seed

Ram Kumar Basnet, Dunia Pino Del Carpio, Dong Xiao, Johan Bucher, Mina Jin, Kerry Boyle, Pierre Fobert, R.G.F. Visser, Chris Maliepaard, Guusje Bonnema*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Fatty acids in seeds affect seed germination and seedling vigor, and fatty acid composition determines the quality of seed oil. In this study, quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping of fatty acid and transcript abundance was integrated with gene network analysis to unravel the genetic regulation of seed fatty acid composition in a Brassica rapa doubled haploid population from a cross between a yellow sarson oil type and a black-seeded pak choi. The distribution of major QTLs for fatty acids showed a relationship with the fatty acid types: linkage group A03 for monounsaturated fatty acids, A04 for saturated fatty acids, and A05 for polyunsaturated fatty acids. Using a genetical genomics approach, expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) hotspots were found at major fatty acid QTLs on linkage groups A03, A04, A05, and A09. An eQTL-guided gene coexpression network of lipid metabolism-related genes showed major hubs at the genes BrPLA2-ALPHA, BrWD-40, a number of seed storage protein genes, and the transcription factor BrMD-2, suggesting essential roles for these genes in lipid metabolism. Three subnetworks were extracted for the economically important and most abundant fatty acids erucic, oleic, linoleic, and linolenic acids. Network analysis, combined with comparison of the genome positions of cis- or trans-eQTLs with fatty acid QTLs, allowed the identification of candidate genes for genetic regulation of these fatty acids. The generated insights in the genetic architecture of fatty acid composition and the underlying complex gene regulatory networks in B. rapa seeds are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-585
JournalPlant Physiology
Volume170
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

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