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Genome-wide association study of resistance to stripe rust (Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici) in Sichuan wheat

Ye, Xueling, Li, Jian, Cheng, Yukun, Yao, Fangjie, Long, Li, Yu, Can, Wang, Yuqi, Wu, Yu, Li, Jing, Wang, Jirui, Jiang, Qiantao, Li, Wei, Ma, Jian, Wei, Yuming, Zheng, Youliang, Chen, Guoyue
BMC plant biology 2019 v.19 no.1 pp. 147
Puccinia striiformis f. tritici, Triticum aestivum, alleles, breeding programs, cultivars, disease outbreaks, disease severity, evolution, fungi, genome-wide association study, germplasm, heritability, landraces, linear models, loci, marker-assisted selection, pathogens, quantitative trait loci, resistance genes, single nucleotide polymorphism, stripe rust, wheat, China
BACKGROUND: Stripe rust (also called yellow rust) is a common and serious fungal disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici. The narrow genetic basis of modern wheat cultivars and rapid evolution of the rust pathogen have been responsible for periodic and devastating epidemics of wheat rust diseases. In this study, we conducted a genome-wide association study with 44,059 single nucleotide polymorphism markers to identify loci associated with resistance to stripe rust in 244 Sichuan wheat accessions, including 79 landraces and 165 cultivars, in six environments. RESULTS: In all the field assessments, 24 accessions displayed stable high resistance to stripe rust. Significant correlations among environments were observed for both infection (IT) and disease severity (DS), and high heritability levels were found for both IT and DS. Using mixed linear models, 12 quantitative trait loci (QTLs) significantly associated with IT and/or DS were identified. Two QTLs were mapped on chromosomes 5AS and 5AL and were distant from previously identified stripe rust resistance genes or QTL regions, indicating that they may be novel resistance loci. CONCLUSIONS: Our results revealed that resistance alleles to stripe rust were accumulated in Sichuan wheat germplasm, implying direct or indirect selection for improved stripe rust resistance in elite wheat breeding programs. The identified stable QTLs or favorable alleles could be important chromosome regions in Sichuan wheat that controlled the resistance to stripe rust. These markers can be used molecular marker-assisted breeding of Sichuan wheat cultivars, and will be useful in the ongoing effort to develop new wheat cultivars with strong resistance to stripe rust.