Identification of QTL related to ROS formation under hypoxia and their association with waterlogging and salt tolerance in barley
Gill, MB and Zeng, F and Shabala, L and Zhang, G and Yu, M and Demidchik, V and Shabala, S and Zhou, M, Identification of QTL related to ROS formation under hypoxia and their association with waterlogging and salt tolerance in barley, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, 20, (3) Article 699. ISSN 1661-6596 (2019) [Refereed Article]
Waterlogging is a serious environmental problem that limits agricultural production in low-lying rainfed areas around the world. The major constraint that plants face in a waterlogging situation is the reduced oxygen availability. Accordingly, all previous efforts of plant breeders focused on traits providing adequate supply of oxygen to roots under waterlogging conditions, such as enhanced aerenchyma formation or reduced radial oxygen loss. However, reduced oxygen concentration in waterlogged soils also leads to oxygen deficiency in plant tissues, resulting in an excessive accumulation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) in plants. To the best of our knowledge, this trait has never been targeted in breeding programs and thus represents an untapped resource for improving plant performance in waterlogged soils. To identify the quantitative trait loci (QTL) for ROS tolerance in barley, 187 double haploid (DH) lines from a cross between TX9425 and Naso Nijo were screened for superoxide anion (O2•-) and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) - two major ROS species accumulated under hypoxia stress. We show that quantifying ROS content after 48 h hypoxia could be a fast and reliable approach for the selection of waterlogging tolerant barley genotypes. The same QTL on chromosome 2H was identified for both O2•- (QSO.TxNn.2H) and H2O2 (QHP.TxNn.2H) contents. This QTL was located at the same position as the QTL for the overall waterlogging and salt tolerance reported in previous studies, explaining 23% and 24% of the phenotypic variation for O2•- and H2O2 contents, respectively. The analysis showed a causal association between ROS production and both waterlogging and salt stress tolerance. Waterlogging and salinity are two major abiotic factors affecting crop production around the globe and frequently occur together. The markers associated with this QTL could potentially be used in future breeding programs to improve waterlogging and salinity tolerance.