Nakano Y, Kusunoki K, Hoekenga OA, Tanaka K, Iuchi S, Sakata Y, Kobayashi M, Yamamoto YY, Koyama H, Kobayashi Y.
Under acid soil conditions, Al stress and proton stress can occur, reducing root growth and function. However, these stressors are distinct, and tolerance to each is governed by multiple physiological processes. To better understand the genes that underlie these coincidental but experimentally separable stresses, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and genomic prediction (GP) models were created for approximately 200 diverse Arabidopsis thaliana accessions. GWAS and genomic prediction identified 140/160 SNPs associated with Al and proton tolerance, respectively, which explained approximately 70% of the variance observed. Reverse genetics of the genes in loci identified novel Al and proton tolerance genes, including TON1-RECRUITING MOTIF 28 (AtTRM28) and THIOREDOXIN H-TYPE 1 (AtTRX1), as well as genes known to be associated with tolerance, such as the Al-activated malate transporter, AtALMT1. Additionally, variation in Al tolerance was partially explained by expression level polymorphisms of AtALMT1 and AtTRX1 caused by cis-regulatory allelic variation. These results suggest that we successfully identified the loci that regulate Al and proton tolerance. Furthermore, very small numbers of loci were shared by Al and proton tolerance as determined by the GWAS. There were substantial differences between the phenotype predicted by genomic prediction and the observed phenotype for Al tolerance. This suggested that the GWAS-undetectable genetic factors (e.g., rare-allele mutations) contributing to the variation of tolerance were more important for Al tolerance than for proton tolerance. This study provides important new insights into the genetic architecture that produces variation in the tolerance of acid soil.