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Genome-wide association mapping for resistance to leaf rust, stripe rust and tan spot in wheat reveals potential candidate genes

Juliana, Philomin, Singh, RaviP., Singh, PawanK., Poland, JesseA., Bergstrom, GaryC., Huerta-Espino, Julio, Bhavani, Sridhar, Crossa, Jose, Sorrells, MarkE.
Theoretical and applied genetics 2018 v.131 no.7 pp. 1405-1422
Triticum aestivum, breeding, chromosome mapping, chromosomes, corn, disease resistance, genome-wide association study, genotyping by sequencing, leaf rust, linear models, mature plants, phosphotransferases (kinases), resistance genes, screening, seedlings, stripe rust, wheat
KEY MESSAGE: Genome-wide association mapping in conjunction with population sequencing map and Ensembl plants was used to identify markers/candidate genes linked to leaf rust, stripe rust and tan spot resistance in wheat. Leaf rust (LR), stripe rust (YR) and tan spot (TS) are some of the important foliar diseases in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). To identify candidate resistance genes for these diseases in CIMMYT’s (International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center) International bread wheat screening nurseries, we used genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in conjunction with information from the population sequencing map and Ensembl plants. Wheat entries were genotyped using genotyping-by-sequencing and phenotyped in replicated trials. Using a mixed linear model, we observed that seedling resistance to LR was associated with 12 markers on chromosomes 1DS, 2AS, 2BL, 3B, 4AL, 6AS and 6AL, and seedling resistance to TS was associated with 14 markers on chromosomes 1AS, 2AL, 2BL, 3AS, 3AL, 3B, 6AS and 6AL. Seedling and adult plant resistance (APR) to YR were associated with several markers at the distal end of chromosome 2AS. In addition, YR APR was also associated with markers on chromosomes 2DL, 3B and 7DS. The potential candidate genes for these diseases included several resistance genes, receptor-like serine/threonine-protein kinases and defense-related enzymes. However, extensive LD in wheat that decays at about 5 × 10⁷ bps, poses a huge challenge for delineating candidate gene intervals and candidates should be further mapped, functionally characterized and validated. We also explored a segment on chromosome 2AS associated with multiple disease resistance and identified seventeen disease resistance linked genes. We conclude that identifying candidate genes linked to significant markers in GWAS is feasible in wheat, thus creating opportunities for accelerating molecular breeding.