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Enhancing backcross programs through increased recombination

Abstract : Background; Introgression of a quantitative trait locus (QTL) by successive backcrosses is used to improve elite lines (recurrent parent) by introducing alleles from exotic material (donor parent). In the absence of selection, the proportion of the donor genome decreases by half at each generation. However, since selection is for the donor allele at the QTL, elimination of the donor genome around that QTL will be much slower than in the rest of the genome (i.e. linkage drag). Using markers to monitor the genome around the QTL and in the genetic background can accelerate the return to the recurrent parent genome. Successful introgression of a locus depends partly on the occurrence of crossovers at favorable positions. However, the number of crossovers per generation is limited and their distribution along the genome is heterogeneous. Recently, techniques have been developed to modify these two recombination parameters. Results: In this paper, we assess, by simulations in the context of Brassicaceae, the effect of increased recombination on the efficiency of introgression programs by studying the decrease in linkage drag and the recovery of the recurrent genome. The simulated selection schemes begin by two generations of foreground selection and continue with one or more generations of background selection. Our results show that, when the QTL is in a region that initially lacked crossovers, an increase in recombination rate can decrease linkage drag by nearly ten-fold after the foreground selection and improves the return to the recurrent parent. However, if the QTL is in a region that is already rich in crossovers, an increase in recombination rate is detrimental. Conclusions: Depending on the recombination rate in the region targeted for introgression, increasing it can be beneficial or detrimental. Thus, the simulations analysed in this paper help us understand how an increase in recombination rate can be beneficial. They also highlight the best methods that can be used to increase recombination rate, depending on the situation.
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Submitted on : Monday, March 15, 2021 - 5:08:18 AM
Last modification on : Thursday, April 15, 2021 - 3:08:12 PM

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Elise Tourrette, Matthieu Falque, Olivier C. Martin. Enhancing backcross programs through increased recombination. Genetics Selection Evolution, BioMed Central, 2021, 53 (1), pp.25. ⟨10.1186/s12711-021-00619-0⟩. ⟨hal-03168946⟩

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