Genetic Architecture of Natural Variation in Rice Nonphotochemical Quenching Capacity Revealed by Genome-Wide Association Study
Wang, Q.; Zhao, H.; Jiang, J.; Xu, J.; Xie, W.; Fu, X.; Liu, C.; He, Y.; Wang, G.
Frontiers in Plant Science 8: 1773
The photoprotective processes conferred by nonphotochemical quenching (NPQ) serve fundamental roles in maintaining plant fitness and sustainable yield. So far, few loci have been reported to be involved in natural variation of NPQ capacity in rice (Oryza sativa), and the extents of variation explored are very limited. Here we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) for NPQ capacity using a diverse worldwide collection of 529 O. sativa accessions. A total of 33 significant association loci were identified. To check the validity of the GWAS signals, three F2 mapping populations with parents selected from the association panel were constructed and assayed. All QTLs detected in mapping populations could correspond to at least one GWAS signal, indicating the GWAS results were quite reliable. OsPsbS1 was repeatedly detected and explained more than 40% of the variation in the whole association population in two years, and demonstrated to be a common major QTL in all three mapping populations derived from inter-group crosses. We revealed 43 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and 7 insertions and deletions (InDels) within a 6,997-bp DNA fragment of OsPsbS1, but found no non-synonymous SNPs or InDels in the coding region, indicating the PsbS1 protein sequence is highly conserved. Haplotypes with the 2,674-bp insertion in the promoter region exhibited significantly higher NPQ values and higher expression levels of OsPsbS1. The OsPsbS1 RNAi plants and CRISPR/Cas9 mutants exhibited drastically decreased NPQ values. OsPsbS1 had specific and high-level expression in green tissues of rice. However, we didn't find significant function for OsPsbS2, the other rice PsbS homologue. Manipulation of the significant loci or candidate genes identified may enhance photoprotection and improve photosynthesis and yield in rice.