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SRAP Polymorphisms Associated to Cell Wall Degradability in Lignified Stems of Alfalfa

Dubé, M.P., Castonguay, Y., Duceppe, M.O., Bertrand, A., Michaud, R. (2013). SRAP Polymorphisms Associated to Cell Wall Degradability in Lignified Stems of Alfalfa, 6(2), 644-650.


The identification of DNA polymorphisms associated to increased cell wall (CW) degradability could accelerate the development of alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) cultivars with superior ethanol conversion yields. Genotypes with high (D+) or low (D-) CW degradability were recently identified within a biomass-type and three winter-hardy-type populations using near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) prediction of CW glucose released by enzyme saccharification. In this report, we used sequence-related amplified polymorphism to search for DNA variations associated to differences in enzyme-released glucose. A bulk segregant analysis (BSA) of pooled DNA samples (20 plants/bulk) from D+, D-, and randomly chosen genotypes uncovered polymorphisms associated to CW degradability. Polymorphisms that increase or decrease in intensity between D+ and D- bulks indicated the presence of genomic regions with either positive or negative effects on CW degradability. A primer pair (Me4-R14) generated a fragment, which increased in intensity in the D+ bulk of the biomass-type population. Conversely, the amplification of that fragment declined in the D+ bulks of the winter-hardy-type populations. Interestingly, these populations differ in their degradability. Assessment of the genotypic occurrence of this fragment confirmed that polymorphism detected with BSA reflects changes in the frequency of occurrence within populations. Sequence analysis of the Me4-R14 fragment revealed homologies with sequences from Medicago truncatula, a model species for legumes with documented synteny with M. sativa. Our results show that genomic regions associated to CW degradability can be identified using the combination of BSA of genotypes with contrasted degradability and a PCR-based amplification technique. © 2012 Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada as represented by: The Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.

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