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Patterns of genome-wide allele-specific expression in hybrid rice and the implications on the genetic basis of heterosis

信息来源:作物遗传改良国家重点实验室     发布时间:2019-03-07

Lin Shao, Feng Xing, Conghao Xu, Qinghua Zhang, Jian Che, Xianmeng Wang, Jiaming Song, Xianghua Li, Jinghua Xiao, Ling-Ling Chen, Yidan Ouyang, and Qifa Zhang

Abstract

Utilization of heterosis has greatly increased the productivity of many crops worldwide. Although tremendous progress has been made in characterizing the genetic basis of heterosis using genomic technologies, molecular mechanisms underlying the genetic components are much less understood. Allele-specific expression (ASE), or imbalance between the expression levels of two parental alleles in the hybrid, has been suggested as a mechanism of heterosis. Here, we performed a genome-wide analysis of ASE by comparing the read ratios of the parental alleles in RNA-sequencing data of an elite rice hybrid and its parents using three tissues from plants grown under four conditions. The analysis identified a total of 3,270 genes showing ASE (ASEGs) in various ways, which can be classified into two patterns: consistent ASEGs such that the ASE was biased toward one parental allele in all tissues/conditions, and inconsistent ASEGs such that ASE was found in some but not all tissues/conditions, including direction-shifting ASEGs in which the ASE was biased toward one parental allele in some tissues/conditions while toward the other parental allele in other tissues/conditions. The results suggested that these patterns may have distinct implications in the genetic basis of heterosis: The consistent ASEGs may cause partial to full dominance effects on the traits that they regulate, and direction-shifting ASEGs may cause overdominance. We also showed that ASEGs were significantly enriched in genomic regions that were differentially selected during rice breeding. These ASEGs provide an index of the genes for future pursuit of the genetic and molecular mechanism of heterosis.

 


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