Simple SNP-based minimal marker genotyping for Humulus lupulus L. identification and variety validation

John A Henning, Jamie Coggins, Matthew Peterson
BMC Research Notes 2015 October 6, 8: 542

BACKGROUND: Hop is an economically important crop for the Pacific Northwest USA as well as other regions of the world. It is a perennial crop with rhizomatous or clonal propagation system for varietal distribution. A big concern for growers as well as brewers is variety purity and questions are regularly posed to public agencies concerning the availability of genotype testing. Current means for genotyping are based upon 25 microsatellites that provides relatively accurate genotyping but cannot always differentiate sister-lines. In addition, numerous PCR runs (25) are required to complete this process and only a few laboratories exist that perform this service. A genotyping protocol based upon SNPs would enable rapid accurate genotyping that can be assayed at any laboratory facility set up for SNP-based genotyping. The results of this study arose from a larger project designed for whole genome association studies upon the USDA-ARS hop germplasm collection consisting of approximately 116 distinct hop varieties and germplasm (female lines) from around the world.

RESULTS: The original dataset that arose from partial sequencing of 121 genotypes resulted in the identification of 374,829 SNPs using TASSEL-UNEAK pipeline. After filtering out genotypes with more than 50% missing data (5 genotypes) and SNP markers with more than 20% missing data, 32,206 highly filtered SNP markers across 116 genotypes were identified and considered for this study. Minor allele frequency (MAF) was calculated for each SNP and ranked according to the most informative to least informative. Only those markers without missing data across genotypes as well as 60% or less heterozygous gamete calls were considered for further analysis. Genetic distances among individuals in the study were calculated using the marker with the highest MAF value, then by using a combination of the two markers with highest MAF values and so on. This process was reiterated until a set of markers was identified that allowed for all genotypes in the study to be genetically differentiated from each other. Next, we compared genetic matrices calculated from the minimal marker sets [(Table 2; 6-, 7-, 8-, 10- and 12-marker set matrices] and that of a matrix calculated from a set of markers with no missing data across all 116 samples (1006 SNP markers). The minimum number of markers required to meet both specifications was a set of 7-markers (Table 3). These seven SNPs were then aligned with a genome assembly, and DNA sequence both upstream and downstream were used to identify primer sequences that can be used to develop seven amplicons for high resolution melting curve PCR detection or other SNP-based PCR detection methods.

CONCLUSIONS: This study identifies a set of 7 SNP markers that may prove useful for the identification and validation of hop varieties and accessions. Variety validation of unknown samples assumes that the variety under question has been included a priori in a discovery panel. These results are based upon in silica studies and markers need to be validated using different SNP marker technology upon a differential set of hop genotypes. The marker sequence data and suggested primer sets provide potential means to fingerprint hop varieties in most genetic laboratories utilizing SNP-marker technology.

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