Major effect loci for plant size before onset of nitrogen fixation allow accurate prediction of yield in white clover

Sara Moeskjær, Cathrine Kiel Skovbjerg*, Marni Tausen, Rune Wind, Niels Roulund, Luc Janss, Stig U Andersen*

*Corresponding author af dette arbejde

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Abstract

KEY MESSAGE: Accurate genomic prediction of yield within and across generations was achieved by estimating the genetic merit of individual white clover genotypes based on extensive genetic replication using cloned material. White clover is an agriculturally important forage legume grown throughout temperate regions as a mixed clover-grass crop. It is typically cultivated with low nitrogen input, making yield dependent on nitrogen fixation by rhizobia in root nodules. Here, we investigate the effects of clover and rhizobium genetic variation by monitoring plant growth and quantifying dry matter yield of 704 combinations of 145 clover genotypes and 170 rhizobium inocula. We find no significant effect of rhizobium variation. In contrast, we can predict yield based on a few white clover markers strongly associated with plant size prior to nitrogen fixation, and the prediction accuracy for polycross offspring yield is remarkably high. Several of the markers are located near a homolog of Arabidopsis thaliana GIGANTUS 1, which regulates growth rate and biomass accumulation. Our work provides fundamental insight into the genetics of white clover yield and identifies specific candidate genes as breeding targets.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
TidsskriftTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Vol/bind135
Nummer1
Sider (fra-til)125-143
Antal sider19
ISSN0040-5752
DOI
StatusUdgivet - jan. 2022

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