The introns in FLOWERING LOCUS T-LIKE (FTL) genes are useful markers for tracking paternity in tetraploid Chenopodium quinoa Willd.
Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) is an important crop of the Andean region of South America. It is an allotetraploid closely related to Chenopodium berlandieri Moq. with largely unknown genomic structure. We used the third introns of two FLOWERING LOCUS T-LIKE genes, CrFTL1 and CrFTL2 as markers in an attempt to identify ancestral origins of the two diploid subgenomes of quinoa. The introns underwent rapid evolution with frequent indel losses and gains, including a recent insertion of mitochondrial DNA in C. quinoa. However, they could be unambiguously aligned and used for the construction of phylogenetic trees. We distinguished two parental subgenomes participating in the origin of quinoa. One parent was related to North American C. standleyanum Aellen, C. incanum (S. Wats.) Heller, or another closely related diploid. The other parent was close to Eurasian C. suecicum J. Murr, C. ficifolium Sm. or another related diploid species. Quinoa is a promising grain crop owing to its salt and drought tolerance. Its importance grows as the change of world climate deepens. Understanding its ancestry will help to facilitate future breeding efforts to improve quinoa’s poor heat and biotic stress resistances.
KeywordsAncestry Chenopodium quinoa FLOWERING LOCUS T-LIKE (FTL) genes Tetraploid Phylogeny Quinoa
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