Genetic analysis and characterization of variegation in hybrid grape populations (Vitis spp.)

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Genetic analysis and characterization of variegation in hybrid grape populations (Vitis spp.)

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Variegation is a plant trait defined by “plants which develop patches of different colors in the vegetative parts”, although variegation can express in reproductive parts of plants as well (Kirk and Tilney-Bassett, 1978). Variegation is a common trait found among a wide variety of plant species and has been reported in V. vinifera, sport mutations, and segregating in hybrid grape populations (Reisch and Watson, 1984; Filler et al., 1994; personal observation). Variegation is highly desirable in ornamental plant breeding for its showy colors and patterns, but in grape seedlings, it has been observed to have deleterious effects in the form of shorter and less vigorous plants than their wild-type siblings. Mapping the locus or loci associated with variegation would allow for the development of markers to identify parents that may carry the recessive allele for the trait, allowing for more informative decisions on population size and parental combinations when making crosses (Chapter 2). Three different mapping approaches - bulked segregant analysis (BSA), Genome-wide association study (GWAS), and genetic mapping - were utilized to detect and validate associated loci. A total of 9 hybrid grape populations were utilized in mapping, of which all 9 were used in BSA, 3 (GE1642, GE1703, GE1895) were used in GWAS and 2 (GE1642, GE1703) were used in QTL genetic mapping. BSA detected four highly significant SNP markers on chromosome 14 between the physical positions of 21,425,721 to 21,425,734 Mbp. GWAS identified 24 significantly associated markers on chromosome 14 from 27.1 to 30.1 Mbp in GE1642 and GE1895; however, 9 markers on chromosome 11 from 12.1 to 18.4 Mbp were significantly associated with variegation in GE1703. Genetic mapping of GE1642 and GE1703 mapped the variegation the same regions, which validated the region identified in GWAS. Thus, two major loci on chromosomes 11 and 14 were associated with variegation in separate hybrid grape populations. Candidate genes for variegation were identified in the two locus regions for future studies. The effects of variegation on hybrid grape were examined in a variety of experiments in which it was discovered that variegation resulted in a reduction in photosystem II efficiency; reduced leaf chlorophyll and carotenoid concentration; altered leaf palisade mesophyll structure; and had significant reductions in plant growth-related traits (Chapter 3).


University of Minnesota M.S. thesis. September 2020. Major: Applied Plant Sciences. Advisor: Matthew Clark. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 129 pages.

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Olson, Jack. (2020). Genetic analysis and characterization of variegation in hybrid grape populations (Vitis spp.). Retrieved from the University Digital Conservancy,

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