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Genetic analysis of the transition from wild to domesticated cotton (G. hirsutum L.)

By Corrinne Grover, Mi-Jeong Yoo, Meng Lin, Matthew D. Murphy, David B Harker, Robert L Byers, Alexander E. Lipka, Guanjing Hu, Daojun Yuan, Justin L Conover, Joshua A. Udall, Andrew H. Paterson, Michael A Gore, Jonathan F Wendel

Posted 23 Apr 2019
bioRxiv DOI: 10.1101/616763 (published DOI: 10.1534/g3.119.400909)

The evolution and domestication of cotton is of great interest from both economic and evolutionary standpoints. Although many genetic and genomic resources have been generated for cotton, the genetic underpinnings of the transition from wild to domesticated cotton remain poorly known. Here we generated an intraspecific QTL mapping population specifically targeting domesticated cotton phenotypes. We used 466 F2 individuals derived from an intraspecific cross between the wild Gossypium hirsutum var. yucatanense (TX2094) and the elite cultivar G. hirsutum cv. Acala Maxxa, in two environments, to identify 120 QTL associated with phenotypic changes under domestication. While the number of QTL recovered in each subpopulation was similar, only 22 QTL were considered coincident (i.e., shared) between the two locations, eight of which shared peak markers. Although approximately half of QTL were located in the A-subgenome, many key fiber QTL were detected in the D-subgenome, which was derived from a species with unspinnable fiber. We found that many QTL are environment-specific, with few shared between the two environments, indicating that QTL associated with G. hirsutum domestication are genomically clustered but environmentally labile. Possible candidate genes were recovered and are discussed in the context of the phenotype. We conclude that the evolutionary forces that shape intraspecific divergence and domestication in cotton are complex, and that phenotypic transformations likely involved multiple interacting and environmentally responsive factors. Summary An F2 population between wild and domesticated cotton was used to identify QTL associated with selection under domestication. Multiple traits characterizing domesticated cotton were evaluated, and candidate genes underlying QTL are described for all traits. QTL are unevenly distributed between subgenomes of the domesticated polyploid, with many fiber QTL located on the genome derived from the D parent, which does not have spinnable fiber, but a majority of QTL overall located on the A subgenome. QTL are many (120) and environmentally labile. These data, together with candidate gene analyses, suggest recruitment of many environmentally responsive factors during cotton domestication.

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