Polymorphisms in O-methyltransferase genes are associated with stover cell wall digestibility in European maize (Zea maysL.)

Date
2010-02-12
Authors
Brenner, Everton
Zein, Imad
Lubberstedt, Thomas
Chen, Yongsheng
Andersen, Jeppe
Wenzel, Gerhard
Ouzunova, Milena
Eder, Joachim
Darnhofer, Birte
Frei, Uschi
Barrière, Yves
Lubberstedt, Thomas
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Agronomy
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Agronomy
Abstract

Background

OMT (O-methyltransferase) genes are involved in lignin biosynthesis, which relates to stover cell wall digestibility. Reduced lignin content is an important determinant of both forage quality and ethanol conversion efficiency of maize stover.

Results

Variation in genomic sequences coding for COMT, CCoAOMT1, and CCoAOMT2 was analyzed in relation to stover cell wall digestibility for a panel of 40 European forage maize inbred lines, and re-analyzed for a panel of 34 lines from a published French study. Different methodologies for association analysis were performed and compared. Across association methodologies, a total number of 25, 12, 1, 6 COMT polymorphic sites were significantly associated with DNDF, OMD, NDF, and WSC, respectively. Association analysis for CCoAOMT1 and CCoAOMT2 identified substantially fewer polymorphic sites (3 and 2, respectively) associated with the investigated traits. Our re-analysis on the 34 lines from a published French dataset identified 14 polymorphic sites significantly associated with cell wall digestibility, two of them were consistent with our study. Promising polymorphisms putatively causally associated with variability of cell wall digestibility were inferred from the total number of significantly associated SNPs/Indels.

Conclusions

Several polymorphic sites for three O-methyltransferase loci were associated with stover cell wall digestibility. All three tested genes seem to be involved in controlling DNDF, in particular COMT. Thus, considerable variation among Bm3 wildtype alleles can be exploited for improving cell-wall digestibility. Target sites for functional markers were identified enabling development of efficient marker-based selection strategies.

Comments

This article is published as Brenner, Everton A., Imad Zein, Yongsheng Chen, Jeppe R. Andersen, Gerhard Wenzel, Milena Ouzunova, Joachim Eder et al. "Polymorphisms in O-methyltransferase genes are associated with stover cell wall digestibility in European maize (Zea mays L.)." BMC plant biology 10, no. 1 (2010): 27. doi: 10.1186/1471-2229-10-27. Posted with permission.

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