Expression Quantitative Trait Loci (eQTL) mapping for callose synthases in intergeneric hybrids of Citrus challenged with the bacteria Candidatus Liberibacter asiaticus.
Citrus plants have been extremely affected by Huanglongbing (HLB) worldwide, causing economic losses. HLB disease causes disorders in citrus plants, leading to callose deposition in the phloem vessel sieve plates. Callose is synthesized by callose synthases, which are encoded by 12 genes (calS1- calS12)in Arabidopsis thaliana. We evaluated the expression of eight callose synthase genes from Citrus in hybrids between Citrus sunki and Poncirus trifoliata infected with HLB. The objective of this work was to identify possible tolerance loci combining the expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) of different callose synthases and genetic Single-Nucleotide Polymorphism (SNP) maps of C. sunki and P. trifoliata. The expression data from all CscalS ranged widely among the hybrids. Furthermore, the data allowed the detection of 18 eQTL in the C. sunki map and 34 eQTL in the P. trifoliata map. In both maps, some eQTL for different CscalS were overlapped; thus, a single region could be associated with the regulation of more than one CscalS. The regions identified in this work can be interesting targets for future studies of Citrus breeding programs to manipulate callose synthesis during HLB infection.
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