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QTL analysis of the developmental response to L-glutamate in Arabidopsis roots and its genotype-by-environment interactions

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<mark>Journal publication date</mark>17/05/2017
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Experimental Botany
Issue number11
Number of pages13
Pages (from-to)2919-2931
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date26/04/17
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Primary root growth in Arabidopsis and a number of other species has previously been shown to be remarkably sensitive to the presence of external glutamate, with glutamate signalling eliciting major changes in root architecture. Using two recombinant inbred lines from reciprocal crosses between Arabidopsis accessions C24 and Col-0, we have identified one large-effect quantitative trait locus (QTL), GluS1, and two minor QTLs, GluS2 and GluS3, which together accounted for 41% of the phenotypic variance in glutamate sensitivity. The presence of the GluS1 locus on chromosome 3 was confirmed using a set of C24/Col-0 isogenic lines. GluS1 was mapped to an interval between genes At3g44830-At3g46880. When QTL mapping was repeated under a range of environmental conditions, including temperature, shading and nitrate supply, a strong genotype-by-environment interaction in the controls for the glutamate response was identified. Major differences in the loci controlling this trait were found under different environmental conditions. Here we present evidence for the existence of loci on chromosomes 1 and 5 epistatically controlling the response of the GluS1 locus to variations in ambient temperature, between 20°C and 26°C. In addition, a locus on the long arm of chromosome 1 was found to play a major role in controlling the ability of external nitrate signals to antagonize the glutamate effect. We conclude that there are multiple loci controlling natural variation in glutamate sensitivity in Arabidopsis roots and that epistatic interactions play an important role in modulating glutamate sensitivity in response to changes in environmental conditions.