Characterization of molecular diversity and genome-wide association study of stripe rust resistance at the adult plant stage in Northern Chinese wheat landraces.BMC Genet. 2019 03 26; 20(1):38.BG
Stripe rust is a serious fungal disease of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) caused by Puccinia striiformis f. sp. tritici (Pst), which results in yield reduction and decreased grain quality. Breeding for genetic resistance to stripe rust is the most cost-effective method to control the disease. In the present study, a genome-wide association study (GWAS) was conducted to identify markers linked to stripe rust resistance genes (or loci) in 93 Northern Chinese wheat landraces, using Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) and simple sequence repeat (SSR) molecular marker technology based on phenotypic data from two field locations over two growing seasons in China.
Seventeen accessions were verified to display stable and high levels of adult plant resistance (APR) to stripe rust via multi-environment field assessments. Significant correlations among environments and high heritability were observed for stripe rust infection type (IT) and disease severity (DS). Using mixed linear models (MLM) for the GWAS, a total of 32 significantly associated loci (P < 0.001) were detected. In combination with the linkage disequilibrium (LD) decay distance (6.4 cM), 25 quantitative trait loci (QTL) were identified. Based on the integrated map of previously reported genes and QTL, six QTL located on chromosomes 4A, 6A and 7D were mapped far from resistance regions identified previously, and represent potentially novel stripe rust resistance loci at the adult plant stage.
The present findings demonstrated that identification of genes or loci linked to significant markers in wheat by GWAS is feasible. Seventeen elite accessions conferred with stable and high resistance to stripe rust, and six putative newly detected APR loci were identified among the 93 Northern Chinese wheat landraces. The results illustrate the potential for acceleration of molecular breeding of wheat, and also provide novel sources of stripe rust resistance with potential utility in the breeding of improved wheat cultivars.