Chenopodium quinoa, a South American pseudocereal, has valuable agricultural traits such as salt tolerance and drought tolerance, and it has beneficial nutritional properties such as high protein content and a complete amino acid profile. However, problems including disease susceptibility, low harvest index, lodging, seed shattering, low heat tolerance, and saponin content plague quinoa. Genetic resources for quinoa are needed to fix these problems and make quinoa more available throughout the world. We used ethyl methanesulfonate (EMS) to create a mutant population of QQ74 quinoa (USDA GRIN PI 614886) of 5,030 mutant families. We did whole exome sequencing (WES) on 44 mutant families. Using the recently published quinoa reference genome and MAPS, a mutation detection pipeline, we found a mutation rate of 11.35 mutations/Mb in these families. We also used whole genome sequencing (WGS) to calculate a mutation rate of 21.67 mutations/Mb in an additional nine mutant families. To demonstrate the utility of this population as a genetic resource, we found an EMS-induced nonsense mutation in the betalain synthesis pathway that prevents red betacyanins from accumulating in the hypocotyl of quinoa. With the mutation rates in our population, we calculate that analysis of 300 mutant families will yield 3-7 mutations in any gene of interest, which will facilitate forward and reverse genetic studies in quinoa.
College and Department
Plant and Wildlife Sciences
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Cox, Brian James, "EMS Mutagenesis in Quinoa: Developing a Genetic Resource" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 9080.
Chenopodium quinoa, ethyl methanesulfonate, mutation, whole exome sequencing, whole genome sequencing, betalains