Elucidating the Genetic Architecture of Fiber Quality in Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) Using a Genome-Wide Association Study
Petit, Jordi ; Salentijn, Elma M.J. ; Paulo, Maria João ; Denneboom, Christel ; Loo, Eibertus N. van; Trindade, Luisa M. - \ 2020
Frontiers in Genetics Livestock Genomics 11 (2020). - ISSN 1664-8021
Cannabis sativa - cell wall composition - fiber quality - GWAS - hemp - QTL - RAD-sequencing
Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a bast-fiber crop with a great potential in the emerging bio-based economy. Yet, hemp breeding for fiber quality is restricted and that is mainly due to the limited knowledge of the genetic architecture of its fiber quality. A panel of 123 hemp accessions, with large phenotypic variability, was used to study the genetic basis of seven cell wall and bast fiber traits relevant to fiber quality. These traits showed large genetic variance components and high values of broad sense heritability in this hemp panel, as concluded from the phenotypic evaluation across three test locations with contrasting environments. The hemp panel was genotyped using restriction site associated DNA sequencing (RAD-seq). Subsequently, a large set (> 600,000) of selected genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers was used for a genome-wide association study (GWAS) approach to get insights into quantitative trait loci (QTLs) controlling fiber quality traits. In absence of a complete hemp genome sequence, identification of QTLs was based on the following characteristics: (i) association level to traits, (ii) fraction of explained trait variance, (iii) collinearity between QTLs, and (iv) detection across different environments. Using this approach, 16 QTLs were identified across locations for different fiber quality traits, including contents of glucose, glucuronic acid, mannose, xylose, lignin, and bast fiber content. Among them, six were found across the three environments. The genetic markers composing the QTLs that are common across locations are valuable tools to develop novel genotypes of hemp with improved fiber quality. Underneath the QTLs, 12 candidate genes were identified which are likely to be involved in the biosynthesis and modification of monosaccharides, polysaccharides, and lignin. These candidate genes were suggested to play an important role in determining fiber quality in hemp. This study provides new insights into the genetic architecture of fiber traits, identifies QTLs and candidate genes that form the basis for molecular breeding for high fiber quality hemp cultivars.
Genetic Variability of Morphological, Flowering, and Biomass Quality Traits in Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.)
Petit, Jordi ; Salentijn, Elma M.J. ; Paulo, Maria João ; Thouminot, Claire ; Dinter, Bert Jan van; Magagnini, Gianmaria ; Gusovius, Hans Jörg ; Tang, Kailei ; Amaducci, Stefano ; Wang, Shaoliang ; Uhrlaub, Birgit ; Müssig, Jörg ; Trindade, Luisa M. - \ 2020
Frontiers in Plant Science 11 (2020). - ISSN 1664-462X
Cannabis sativa - cell wall composition - fiber quality - flowering time - genetic variability - genotype-by-environment (G×E) interactions - hemp - sex determination
Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a bast-fiber crop well-known for the great potential to produce sustainable fibers. Nevertheless, hemp fiber quality is a complex trait, and little is known about the phenotypic variability and heritability of fiber quality traits in hemp. The aim of this study is to gain insights into the variability in fiber quality within the hemp germplasm and to estimate the genetic components, environmental components, and genotype-by-environment (G×E) interactions on fiber quality traits in hemp. To investigate these parameters, a panel of 123 hemp accessions was phenotyped for 28 traits relevant to fiber quality at three locations in Europe, corresponding to climates of northern, central, and southern Europe. In general, hemp cultivated in northern latitudes showed a larger plant vigor while earlier flowering was characteristic of plants cultivated in southern latitudes. Extensive variability between accessions was observed for all traits. Most cell wall components (contents of monosaccharides derived from cellulose and hemicellulose; and lignin content), bast fiber content, and flowering traits revealed large genetic components with low G×E interactions and high broad-sense heritability values, making these traits suitable to maximize the genetic gains of fiber quality. In contrast, contents of pectin-related monosaccharides, most agronomic traits, and several fiber traits (fineness and decortication efficiency) showed low genetic components with large G×E interactions affecting the rankings across locations. These results suggest that pectin, agronomic traits, and fiber traits are unsuitable targets in breeding programs of hemp, as their large G×E interactions might lead to unexpected phenotypes in untested locations. Furthermore, all environmental effects on the 28 traits were statistically significant, suggesting a strong adaptive behavior of fiber quality in hemp to specific environments. The high variability in fiber quality observed in the hemp panel, the broad range in heritability, and adaptability among all traits prescribe positive prospects for the development of new hemp cultivars of excellent fiber quality.
Phenotypic Variation of Cell Wall Composition and Stem Morphology in Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.): Optimization of Methods
Petit, Jordi ; Gulisano, Agata ; Dechesne, Annemarie ; Trindade, Luisa M. - \ 2019
Frontiers in Plant Science 10 (2019). - ISSN 1664-462X
Cannabis sativa - cell wall - fiber quality - genetic diversity - hemp - phenotyping methods - stem morphology
The growing demands for sustainable fibers have stimulated the study of genetic diversity in the quality of hemp fiber (Cannabis sativa L.). Nevertheless, the lack of high-throughput phenotyping methods that are suited for the analysis of hemp fiber, hampers the analysis of many accessions, and consequently the breeding for this complex trait. In the present report, we developed and optimized the throughput of five methods to study the diversity in hemp fiber quality including cell wall extraction, biochemical composition of cell wall polysaccharides, quantification of lignin, quantification of crystalline polysaccharides and morphology of the stems. Six hemp accessions contrasting for cell wall properties were used to assess the throughput and suitability of these methods for genetic studies. The methods presented revealed to be highly repeatable, with low coefficients of variation between technical replicates. With these methods we were able to detect significant phenotypic variation in cell wall composition and stem morphology between the six accessions. In addition, the throughput of the methods has been upgraded to a level that enables their use for phenotyping cell wall traits in breeding programs. The cell wall extraction was optimized to extract enough material for the complete characterization of the cell wall of hemp while reducing the time for the entire analysis. The throughput of the stem morphological analysis was improved by decreasing the timing of fixation, infiltration, and embedding of mature and dry hemp stems. Notwithstanding, our methods already have the potential to phenotype large number of accessions in a relatively short period of time. Our methods will enable exploration of genetic diversity of fiber quality and will contribute to the development of new hemp varieties with advanced quality of fibers.