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Identification of Candidate Genes Controlling Black Seed Coat and Pod Tip Color in Cowpea (Vigna unguiculata [L.] Walp).

  • Author(s): Herniter, Ira A;
  • Muñoz-Amatriaín, María;
  • Lo, Sassoum;
  • Guo, Yi-Ning;
  • Close, Timothy J
  • et al.

Seed coat color is an important part of consumer preferences for cowpea (Vigna unguiculata [L.] Walp). Color has been studied in numerous crop species and has often been linked to loci controlling the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway. This study makes use of available resources, including mapping populations, a reference genome, and a high-density single nucleotide polymorphism genotyping platform, to map the black seed coat and purple pod tip color traits, with the gene symbol Bl, in cowpea. Several gene models encoding MYB domain protein 113 were identified as candidate genes. MYB domain proteins have been shown in other species to control expression of genes encoding enzymes for the final steps in the anthocyanin biosynthesis pathway. PCR analysis indicated that a presence/absence variation of one or more MYB113 genes may control the presence or absence of black pigment. A PCR marker has been developed for the MYB113 gene Vigun05g039500, a candidate gene for black seed coat color in cowpea.

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