Sorghum accumulates epi-cuticular wax (EW) in leaves, sheaths, and culms. EW reduces the transpirational and nontranspirational (nonstomatal) water loss and protects the plant from severe drought stress in addition to imparting resistance against insect pests. Results presented here are from the analysis of EW content of 387 diverse sorghum accessions and its genome-wide association study (GWAS). EW content in sorghum leaves ranged from 0.1 to 29.7 mg cm−2 with a mean value of 5.1 mg cm−2. GWAS using 265,487 single nucleotide polymorphisms identified thirty-seven putative genes associated (P < 9.89E−06) with EW biosynthesis and transport in sorghum. Major EW biosynthetic genes identified included 3-Oxoacyl-[acyl-carrier-protein (ACP)] synthase III, an Ankyrin repeat protein, a bHLH-MYC, and an R2R3-MYB transcription factor. Genes involved in EW regulation or transport included an ABC transporter, a Lipid exporter ABCA1, a Multidrug resistance protein, Inositol 1, 3, 4-trisphosphate 5/6-kinase, and a Cytochrome P450. This GWA study thus demonstrates the potential for genetic manipulation of EW content in sorghum for better adaptation to biotic and abiotic stress.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Biology
- Plant Science