Plant metabolites are important to world food security due to their roles in crop yield and nutritional quality. Here we report the metabolic profile of 300 tomato accessions (Solanum lycopersicum and related wild species) by quantifying 60 primary and secondary metabolites, including volatile organic compounds, over a period of 2 yr. Metabolite content and genetic inheritance of metabolites varied broadly, both within and between different genetic groups. Using genotype information gained from 10 000 single nucleotide polymorphism markers, we performed a metabolite genome-wide association mapping (GWAS) study. We identified 79 associations influencing 13 primary and 19 secondary metabolites with large effects at high resolution. Four genome regions were detected, highlighting clusters of associations controlling the variation of several metabolites. Local linkage disequilibrium analysis and allele mining identified possible candidate genes which may modulate the content of metabolites that are of significant importance for human diet and fruit consumption. We precisely characterized two associations involved in fruit acidity and phenylpropanoid volatile production. Taken together, this study reveals complex and distinct metabolite regulation in tomato subspecies and demonstrates that GWAS is a powerful tool for gene-metabolite annotation and identification, pathways elucidation, and further crop improvement.
- Genome-wide association study (GWAS)
- Genotype-by-environment (G × E)
- Sugars: acids
- Tomato breeding