Identification of polymorphisms associated with drought adaptation QTL in Brassica napus by resequencing

Richard S. Fletcher, David Herrmann, Jack L. Mullen, Qinfei Li, Daniel R. Schrider, Nicholas Price, Junjiang Lin, Kelsi Grogan, Andrew Kern, John K. McKay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Brassica napus is a globally important oilseed for which little is known about the genetics of drought adaptation. We previously mapped twelve quantitative trait loci (QTL) underlying drought-related traits in a biparental mapping population created from a cross between winter and spring B. napus cultivars. Here we resequence the genomes of the mapping population parents to identify genetic diversity across the genome and within QTL regions. We sequenced each parental cultivar on the Illumina HiSeq platform to a minimum depth of 23 × and performed a reference based assembly in order to describe the molecular variation differentiating them at the scale of the genome, QTL and gene. Genome-wide patterns of variation were characterized by an overall higher single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) density in the A genome and a higher ratio of nonsynonymous to synonymous substitutions in the C genome. Nonsynonymous substitutions were used to categorize gene ontology terms differentiating the parent genomes along with a list of putative functional variants contained within each QTL. Marker assays were developed for several of the discovered polymorphisms within a pleiotropic QTL on chromosome A10. QTL analysis with the new, denser map showed the most associated marker to be that developed from an insertion/deletion polymorphism located in the candidate gene Bna.FLC.A10, and it was the only candidate within the QTL interval with observed polymorphism. Together, these results provide a glimpse of genome-wide variation differentiating annual and biennial B. napus ecotypes as well as a better understanding of the genetic basis of root and drought phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)793-803
Number of pages11
JournalG3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Genetics(clinical)


  • Canola
  • FLC
  • Flowering time
  • Rapeseed
  • Root pulling force (RPF)


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