Expression quantitative locus (eQTL) mapping was proposed as a valuable approach to dissect the genetic basis of transcript variation, one of the prime causes of natural phenotypic variation. Few eQTL studies have been performed on woody species due to the difficulty in sample homogenisation. Based on previous knowledge on berry colour formation, we performed eQTL mapping in field experimentation of grapevine with appropriate sampling criteria. The transcript level of VvUFGT, a key enzyme for anthocyanin synthesis was measured by real-time qRT-PCR in grape berry on a 191-individual pseudo-F1 progeny, derived from a cross between Syrah and Grenache cultivars. Two eQTLs were identified: one, explaining 20%, of genotypic variance and co-locating with VvUFGT itself (cis-eQTL), was principally due to the contrast between Grenache alleles; the other, explaining 35% of genotypic variance, was a trans-eQTL due to Syrah allelic contrast and co-located with VvMYBAs, transcription factors known to activate the expression of VvUFGT. This study assessed and validated the feasibility of eQTL mapping approach in grapevine and offered insights and new hypotheses on grape skin colour formation.
► eQTL approach was applied on grapevine to study berry colour formation. ► Two eQTL were identified forVvUFGT transcript variation. ► One cis-eQTL co-locating with VvUFGT itself. ► A trans-eQTL, co-locating with VvMYBAs, the TF switching on VvUFGT. ► Additional insights and new hypotheses about grape berry colour were proposed.
Via Plant Breeding and Genomics News