Genome-wide association study of vitamin E using genotyping by sequencing in sesame (Sesamum indicum)

  • Qiang He
  • Feifei Xu
  • Myeong-Hyeon Min
  • Sang-Ho Chu
  • Kyu-Won Kim
  • Yong-Jin ParkEmail author
Research Article



At least eight structurally related forms of vitamin E occur in nature, four tocopherols and four tocotrienols, all of which are potent membrane-soluble antioxidants. In this study, we detected two major isoforms in sesame (Sesamum indicum L.) seed: γ-tocopherol and β-tocotrienol. The objective of this study is to investigate the genetic basis of these vitamin E isoforms.


We  conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) using 5962 genome-wide markers, acquired from 96 core sesame accessions. The GWAS was performed using generalized linear (GLM) and mixed linear (MLM) models.


LG08_6621957, on chromosome 8, was detected as having a significant association with γ-tocopherol in both models. It explained 20.9% of γ-tocopherol variation in sesame. For β-tocotrienol, no significant loci were detected according to the two models, but one locus, SLG03_13104062, explained 17.8% of the phenotypic variation. Based on structure and phylogenetic studies, the 96 accessions were clearly clustered into two subpopulations.


This study on sesame demonstrates and provides an evidence that genotyping by sequencing (GBS) based GWAS can be used to identifying important loci for small growing crops. The significant SNPs or genes could be useful for improving the vitamin E content in sesame breeding programs.


Genotyping by sequencing Genome-wide association study Sesame Vitamin E 



This work was supported by the research grant of the Kongju National University in 2018.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© The Genetics Society of Korea 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant Resources, College of Industrial ScienceKongju National UniversityYesanKorea
  2. 2.National Key Facility for Crop Resources and Genetic Improvement, Institute of Crop ScienceChinese Academy of Agricultural SciencesBeijingChina
  3. 3.Center for Plant Biology, Tsinghua-Peking Joint Center for Life Sciences, School of Life SciencesTsinghua UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Center of Crop Breeding On Omics and Artificial IntelligenceKongju National UniversityYesanKorea

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