Identification of loci controlling timing of stem elongation in red clover using genotyping by sequencing of pooled phenotypic extremes

Åshild Ergon*, Øystein W. Milvang, Leif Skøt, Tom Ruttink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Main conclusion
Through selective genotyping of pooled phenotypic extremes, we identified a number of loci and candidate genes putatively controlling timing of stem elongation in red clover.

We have identified candidate genes controlling the timing of stem elongation prior to flowering in red clover (Trifolium pratense L.). This trait is of ecological and agronomic significance, as it affects fitness, competitivity, climate adaptation, forage and seed yield, and forage quality. We genotyped replicate pools of phenotypically extreme individuals (early and late-elongating) within cultivar Lea using genotyping-by-sequencing in pools (pool-GBS). After calling and filtering SNPs and GBS locus haplotype polymorphisms, we estimated allele frequencies and searched for markers with significantly different allele frequencies in the two phenotypic groups using BayeScan, an FST-based test utilizing replicate pools, and a test based on error variance of replicate pools. Of the three methods, BayeScan was the least stringent, and the error variance-based test the most stringent. Fifteen significant markers were identified in common by all three tests. The candidate genes flanking the markers include genes with potential roles in the vernalization, autonomous, and photoperiod regulation of floral transition, hormonal regulation of stem elongation, and cell growth. These results provide a first insight into the potential genes and mechanisms controlling transition to stem elongation in a perennial legume, which lays a foundation for further functional studies of the genetic determinants regulating this important trait.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1587-1600
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Genetics and Genomics
Issue number6
Early online date24 Aug 2022
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2022


  • Flowering time
  • Haplotype
  • Pool-GBS
  • QTL
  • Selective genotyping
  • Trifolium pratense
  • Original Article
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics
  • Chromosome Mapping/methods
  • Trifolium/genetics
  • Gene Frequency
  • Genotype


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