Mapping of Nematode Resistance in Hexaploid Sweetpotato Using an Next-Generation Sequencing-Based Association Study

Nozomi Obata, Hiroaki Tabuchi, Miyu Kurihara, Eiji Yamamoto, Kenta Shirasawa, Yuki Monden

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1 Citation (Scopus)


The southern root-knot nematode (SRKN; Meloidogyne incognita) is a typical parasitic nematode that affects sweetpotato [Ipomoea batatas (L.) Lam.], causing a significant decrease in crop yield and commercial value. In Japan, the SRKN is classified into 10 races: SP1–SP5, SP6-1, SP6-2, and SP7–SP9, with the dominant race differing according to the cultivation area. Soil insecticides have previously been used to reduce the soil density of SRKNs; however, this practice is both costly and labor intensive. Therefore, the development of SRKN-resistant sweetpotato lines and cultivars is necessary. However, due to the complexity of polyploid inheritance and the highly heterogeneous genomic composition of sweetpotato, genetic information and research for this species are significantly lacking compared to those for other major diploid crop species. In this study, we utilized the recently developed genome-wide association approach, which uses multiple-dose markers to assess autopolyploid species. We performed an association analysis to investigate resistance toward SRKN-SP2, which is the major race in areas with high sweetpotato production in Japan. The segregation ratio of resistant and susceptible lines in the F1 mapping population derived from the resistant “J-Red” and susceptible “Choshu” cultivars was fitted to 1: 3, suggesting that resistance to SP2 may be regulated by two loci present in the simplex. By aligning the double digest restriction-site associated DNA sequencing reads to the published Ipomoea trifida reference sequence, 46,982 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were identified (sequencing depth > 200). The association study yielded its highest peak on chromosome 7 (Chr07) and second highest peak on chromosome 3 (Chr03), presenting as a single-dose in both loci. Selective DNA markers were developed to screen for resistant plants using the SNPs identified on Chr03 and Chr07. Our results showed that SRKN-SP2-resistant plants were selected with a probability of approximately 70% when combining the two selective DNA markers. This study serves as a model for the identification of genomic regions that control agricultural traits and the elucidation of their effects, and is expected to greatly advance marker-assisted breeding and association studies in polyploid crop species.

Original languageEnglish
Article number858747
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - Mar 18 2022


  • association study
  • breeding
  • nematode
  • polyploidy
  • resistant cultivar
  • sweetpotato

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Plant Science


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