3 years ago

Phenomics allows identification of genomic regions affecting maize stomatal conductance with conditional effects of water deficit and evaporative demand

Santiago Alvarez Prado, Claude Welcker, Aude Coupel-Ledru, Emilie J. Millet, Antonin Grau, Llorenç Cabrera-Bosquet, François Tardieu
Stomatal conductance is central for the trades-off between hydraulics and photosynthesis. We aimed at deciphering its genetic control and that of its responses to evaporative demand and water deficit, a nearly impossible task with gas exchanges measurements. Whole-plant stomatal conductance was estimated via inversion of the Penman Monteith equation from data of transpiration and plant architecture collected in a phenotyping platform. We have analyzed jointly four experiments with contrasting environmental conditions imposed to a panel of 254 maize hybrids. Estimated whole-plant stomatal conductance closely correlated with gas-exchange measurements and biomass accumulation rate. Sixteen robust quantitative trait loci (QTLs) were identified by genome wide association studies (GWAS), and co-located with QTLs of transpiration and biomass. Light, vapour pressure deficit or soil water potential largely accounted for the differences in allelic effects between experiments, thereby providing strong hypotheses for mechanisms of stomatal control and a way to select relevant candidate genes among the 1-19 genes harboured by QTLs. The combination of allelic effects as affected by environmental conditions accounted for the variability of stomatal conductance across a range of hybrids and environmental conditions. This approach may therefore contribute to genetic analysis and prediction of stomatal control in diverse environments.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1111/pce.13083

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