Heavy‐ion beams have been widely utilized as a novel and effective mutagen for mutation breeding in diverse plant species, but the induced mutation spectrum is not fully understood at the genome scale. We describe the development of a multiplexed and cost‐efficient whole‐exome sequencing procedure in rice, and its application to characterize an unselected population of heavy‐ion beam‐induced mutations. The bioinformatics pipeline identified single‐nucleotide mutations as well as small and large (>63 kb) insertions and deletions, and showed good agreement with the results obtained with conventional polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and sequencing analyses. We applied the procedure to analyze the mutation spectrum induced by heavy‐ion beams at the population level. In total, 165 individual M2 lines derived from six irradiation conditions as well as eight pools from non‐irradiated ‘Nipponbare’ controls were sequenced using the newly established target exome sequencing procedure. The characteristics and distribution of carbon‐ion beam‐induced mutations were analyzed in the absence of bias introduced by visual mutant selections. The average (±SE) number of mutations within the target exon regions was 9.06 ± 0.37 induced by 150 Gy irradiation of dry seeds. The mutation frequency changed in parallel to the irradiation dose when dry seeds were irradiated. The total number of mutations detected by sequencing unselected M2 lines was correlated with the conventional mutation frequency determined by the occurrence of morphological mutants. Therefore, mutation frequency may be a good indicator for sequencing‐based determination of the optimal irradiation condition for induction of mutations.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.