Phenotypic characterisation and linkage mapping of domestication syndrome traits in yellow lupin (Lupinus luteus L.)

Muhammad Munir Iqbal, William Erskine, Jens D. Berger, Matthew N. Nelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


The transformation of wild plants into domesticated crops usually modifies a common set of characters referred to as ‘domestication syndrome’ traits such as the loss of pod shattering/seed dehiscence, loss of seed dormancy, reduced anti-nutritional compounds and changes in growth habit, phenology, flower and seed colour. Understanding the genetic control of domestication syndrome traits facilitates the efficient transfer of useful traits from wild progenitors into crops through crossing and selection. Domesticated forms of yellow lupin (Lupinus luteus L.) possess many domestication syndrome traits, while their genetic control remains a mystery. This study aimed to reveal the genetic control of yellow lupin domestication traits. This involved phenotypic characterisation of those traits, defining the genomic regions controlling domestication traits on a linkage map and performing a comparative genomic analysis of yellow lupin with its better-understood relatives, narrow-leafed lupin (L. angustifolius L.) and white lupin (L. albus L.). We phenotyped an F9 recombinant inbred line (RIL) population of a wide cross between Wodjil (domesticated) × P28213 (wild). Vernalisation responsiveness, alkaloid content, flower and seed colour in yellow lupin were each found to be controlled by single loci on linkage groups YL-21, YL-06, YL-03 and YL-38, respectively. Aligning the genomes of yellow with narrow-leafed lupin and white lupin revealed well-conserved synteny between these sister species (76% and 71%, respectively). This genomic comparison revealed that one of the key domestication traits, vernalisation-responsive flowering, mapped to a region of conserved synteny with the vernalisation-responsive flowering time Ku locus of narrow-leafed lupin, which has previously been shown to be controlled by an FT homologue. In contrast, the loci controlling alkaloid content were each found at non-syntenic regions among the three species. This provides a first glimpse into the molecular control of flowering time in yellow lupin and demonstrates both the power and the limitation of synteny as a tool for gene discovery in lupins.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2975-2987
Number of pages13
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number10
Early online date18 Jul 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2020


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