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Accession IconSRP011187

Contribution from Different Genomic Annotation Sets to Quantitative Trait Variation Revealed by Maize GWAS

Organism Icon Zea mays
Sample Icon 49 Downloadable Samples
Technology Badge IconIllumina Genome Analyzer IIx

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The genomic distribution of trait-associated SNPs (TASs) discovered in genome-wide association studies (GWAS) can provide insight into the genetic architecture of complex traits and the design of future studies. Here we report on a maize GWAS that identified TASs underlying five quantitative traits measured across a large panel of samples and examine the characteristics of these TASs. A set of SNPs obtained via RNA sequencing (RNA-seq), most of which are located within annotated genes (~87%) were complemented with additional SNPs from the maize HapMap Project that contains approximately equal proportions of intragenic and intergenic SNPs. TASs were identified via a genome scan while controlling for polygenic background effects. The diverse functions of TAS-containing candidate genes indicate that complex genetic networks shape these traits. The vast majority of the TAS-containing candidate genes have dynamic expression levels among developmental stages. Overall, TASs explain 44~54% of the total phenotypic variation for these traits, with equal contributions from intra- and inter-genic TASs. Association of ligueless2 with upper leaf angle was implicated by two intragenic TASs; rough sheath1 was associated with leaf width by an upstream intergenic TAS; and Zea agamous5 was associated with days to silking by both intra- and inter-genic TASs. A large proportion (82%) of these TASs comes from noncoding regions, similar to findings from human diseases and traits. However, TASs were enriched in both intergenic (53%) and promoter 5kb (24%) regions, but under-represented in a set of nonsynonymous SNPs.
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