Whole-Genome Sequencing and RNA-Seq Reveal Differences in Genetic Mechanism for Flowering Response between Weedy Rice and Cultivated Rice

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Flowering is a key agronomic trait that influences adaptation and productivity. Previous studies have indicated the genetic complexity associated with the flowering response in a photoinsensitive weedy rice accession PSRR-1 despite the presence of a photosensitive allele of a key flowering gene . In this study, we used whole-genome and RNA sequencing data from both cultivated and weedy rice to add further insights. The assembly of unaligned sequences predicted 225 genes, in which 45 were specific to PSRR-1, including two genes associated with flowering. Comparison of the variants in PSRR-1 with the 3K rice genome (RG) dataset identified unique variants within the heading date QTLs. Analyses of the RNA-Seq result under both short-day (SD) and long-day (LD) conditions revealed that many differentially expressed genes (DEGs) colocalized with the flowering QTLs, and some DEGs such as , , , and had unique variants in PSRR-1. , , , and showed different alternate splicing (AS) events between genotypes and day length conditions. was expressed in PSRR-1 but not in Cypress under both LD and SD conditions. Based on variations in both sequence and expression, the unique flowering response in PSRR-1 may be due to the high-impact variants of flowering genes, and is proposed as a key regulator for its day-neutral flowering response.

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International journal of molecular sciences

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