Theor Appl Genet (2017) 130:1961–1973
Genetic and transcriptomic analyses of lignin‑ and lodging‑related
traits in Brassica napus
· Hongju Jian
· Kun Lu
· Nengwen Yin
· Jia Wang
· Xiujian Duan
· Liezhao Liu
· Xinfu Xu
· Rui Wang
· Andrew H. Paterson
· Jiana Li
Received: 20 March 2017 / Accepted: 15 June 2017 / Published online: 20 June 2017
© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017
(especially glucosinolate catabolism) and cell wall biogen-
esis, while down-regulated genes were involved in glucosi-
nolate biosynthesis, indicating that crosstalk exists between
glucosinolate metabolic processes and lignin biosynthesis.
Integrating this differential expression with the GWAS
analysis, we identiﬁed four candidate genes regulating
lignin, including glycosyl hydrolase (BnaA01g00480D),
CYT1 (BnaA04g22820D), and two encoding transcription
factors, SHINE1 (ERF family) and DAR6 (LIM family).
This study provides insight into the genetic control of lodg-
ing and lignin in B. napus.
Rapeseed (Brassica napus) is one of the world’s most
important oilseed crops. Stem and root ‘lodging’, in which
the plant leans or falls and becomes difﬁcult to harvest, can
reduce seed yield by 16% in comparison with frame-raised
plants (Islam and Evans 1994). Stem strength can improve
lodging resistance (Berry et al. 2004; Ookawa et al. 2010).
Recently, quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for stem strength
have been investigated in wheat (Triticum aestivum; Hai
et al. 2005), soybean (Glycine max; Chen et al. 2011), and
rice (Oryza sativa; Dixit et al. 2015), and causal genes have
been identiﬁed. In rice, the gene STRONG CULM2 (SCM2;
allelic to ABERRANT PANICLE ORGANIZATION1) was
associated with stem strength (Ookawa et al. 2010), while
SCM3, allelic to OsTB1 (TEOSINTE BRANCHED1), was
found to participate in strigolactone signaling (Yano et al.
2015). The Arabidopsis thaliana mutant sturdy, the amino
acid sequence of which was homologous to AtPLP1 (pata-
tin-like protein 1), AtPLP2, and AtPLP3, has a stiff inﬂo-
rescence stem, and is resistant to lodging (Huang et al.
Key message Candidate genes associated with lignin
and lodging traits were identiﬁed by combining pheno‑
typic, genotypic, and gene expression data in B. napus.
Abstract Brassica napus is one of the world’s most impor-
tant oilseed crops, but its yield can be dramatically reduced
by lodging, bending, and falling of its vertical stems.
Lignin has been shown to contribute to stem mechanical
strength. In this study, we found that the syringyl/guaia-
cyl (S/G) monolignol ratio exhibits a signiﬁcant negative
correlation with disease and lodging resistance. A total of
92 and 50 SNP and SSR loci, respectively, were found to
be signiﬁcantly associated with ﬁve traits, breaking force,
breaking strength, lodging coefﬁcient, acid detergent lignin
content, and the S/G monolignol ratio using GWAS. To
identify novel genes involved in lignin biosynthesis, tran-
scriptome sequencing of high- (H) and low (L)-ADL con-
tent accessions was performed. The up-regulated genes
were mainly involved in glycoside catabolic processes
Communicated by Carlos F. Quiros.
Electronic supplementary material The online version of this
article (doi:10.1007/s00122-017-2937-x) contains supplementary
material, which is available to authorized users.
* Andrew H. Paterson
* Jiana Li
Chongqing Engineering Research Center for Rapeseed,
College of Agronomy and Biotechnology, Southwest
University, Chongqing 400716, China
Plant Genome Mapping Laboratory, University of Georgia,
Athens 30605, GA, USA