Haplotype analysis and linkage disequilibrium at five loci in Eragrostis tef

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Eragrostis tef (Zucc.), a member of the Chloridoideae subfamily of grasses, is one of the most important food crops in Ethiopia. Lodging is the most important production problem in tef. The rht1 and sd1 dwarfing genes have been useful for improving lodging resistance in wheat and rice, respectively, in what has been known as the "Green Revolution." All homologs of rht1 and sd1 were cloned and sequenced from 31 tef accessions collected from across Ethiopia. The allotetraploid tef genome was found to carry two rht1 homologs. From sequence variation between these two putative homologs, an approximate ancestral divergence date of 6.4 million years ago was calculated for the two genomes within tef. Three sd1 homologs were identified in tef, with unknown orthologous/paralogous relationships. The genetic diversity in the 31 studied accessions was organized into a relatively small number of haplotypes (224) for four of these genes, whereas one rht1 homeologue exhibited 10 haplotypes. A low level of nucleotide diversity was observed at all loci. Linkage disequilibrium analysis demonstrated strong linkage disequilibrium, extending the length of the five genes investigated (224 kb), with no significant decline. There was no significant correlation between haplotypes of any of these genes and their recorded site of origin. © 2012 Smith et al.

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G3: Genes, Genomes, Genetics