Quinoa has been utilized for millennia in the Andes region of South America as a nutritious and hardy food crop. In recent years interest in quinoa has grown as need increases for an alternative to traditional cereal crops that can tolerate marginal environments while offering superior nutrition. Growers outside the Andes have experienced several complications adopting quinoa, including undesirable secondary metabolites, poor yield, lodging, and height inconsistency. Unfortunately, access to native ecotypes for crop improvement is limited, and desirable traits are difficult to introduce into available quinoa cultivars because of its allotetraploid genome and tendency to self-pollinate. A genome-wide survey of induced mutations in 244 sequenced M2 families was created from a bank of EMS-treated quinoa seeds and assembled into a library of mutant lineages with predicted variants and their effects on genes to assist in identifying agronomically valuable mutations in target genes as a supplement to crop improvement efforts. Using this library, eight families containing mutations in genes associated with reduced height "GAI1, GA20OX, GID1, and L " were identified. Several individuals exhibited a shorter than average phenotype; however, because each family contains thousands of EMS-induced mutations, the causative mutation of the reduced height phenotype in each family could not be definitively identified. In one family, absence of the GAI1 mutant allele, but the presence of a mutant CKX3 allele, provided a correlation between a mutation and the short phenotype. Genotyping each generation would be required for a targeted mutant allele to be tracked through selection.



College and Department

Life Sciences; Plant and Wildlife Sciences



Date Submitted


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Chenopodium, quinoa, TILLING, EMS, WGS, Illumina, phenotypic screen, GAI1, CKX3, SLY1, MAPS, VEP, forward genetics



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Life Sciences Commons