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Research Project: Genetic Improvement of Small Grains for Biotic and Abiotic Stress Tolerance and Characterization of Pathogen Populations

Location: Plant Science Research

Title: Association mapping reveals loci associated with multiple traits that affect grain yield and adaptation in soft winter wheat

Author
item LOZADA, DENNIS - University Of Arkansas
item MASON, R - University Of Arkansas
item BABAR, MD - University Of Florida
item CARVER, BRETT - Oklahoma State University
item Brown-Guedira, Gina
item MERRILL, KEITH - North Carolina State University
item ARGUELLO, MARIA - University Of Arkansas
item ACUNA, ANDREA - University Of Arkansas
item VIEIRA, LUCAS - University Of Arkansas
item HOLDER, AMANDA - University Of Arkansas
item MILLER, RANDALL - University Of Arkansas
item ADDISON, CHRISTOPHER - University Of Arkansas
item MOON, DAVID - University Of Arkansas
item MILLER, RANDALL - University Of Arkansas
item DREISIGACKER, SUSANNE - International Maize & Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT)

Submitted to: Euphytica
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2017
Publication Date: 10/2/2017
Citation: Lozada, D.N., Mason, R.E., Babar, M.A., Carver, B.F., Brown Guedira, G.L., Merrill, K., Arguello, M.N., Acuna, A., Vieira, L., Holder, A., Miller, R.G., Addison, C., Moon, D.E., Miller, R.G., Dreisigacker, S. 2017. Association mapping reveals loci associated with multiple traits that affect grain yield and adaptation in soft winter wheat. Euphytica. 213(9):222.

Interpretive Summary: Approaches that utilize DNA marker technology to select crop plants possessing favorable genes depend on identification of associations between DNA markers and the trait of interest. The goal of this research was to perform a genome-wide association study in wheat aimed at identifying marker-trait associations (MTA) for grain yield, yield components, and agronomic traits. A diverse panel of 239 soft red winter wheat lines were evaluated across two growing seasons and eight site-years. Analysis of 5,715 single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers in conjunction with the trait data identified 112 significant MTA for eight measured traits. MTA for grain yield and agronomic traits coincided with previously reported gene regions for winter and spring wheat. Highly significant marker trait associations for grain yield showed an overall negative allelic effect for the minor allele, indicating selection against these alleles by breeders. Markers associated with multiple traits observed on chromosomes 1A, 2D, 3B, and 4B with positive minor effects serve as potential targets for marker assisted breeding to select for improvement of grain yield and related traits. Following marker validation, these multi-trait loci have the potential to be utilized for marker assisted selection to improve grain yield and adaptation of soft red winter wheat.

Technical Abstract: Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are useful to facilitate crop improvement via enhanced knowledge of marker-trait associations (MTA). A GWAS for grain yield (GY), yield components, and agronomic traits was conducted using a diverse panel of 239 soft red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) genotypes evaluated across two growing seasons and eight site-years. Analysis of variance showed significant environment, genotype, and genotype-by-environment effects for GY and yield components. Narrow sense heritability of GY (h2 =0.48) was moderate compared to other traits including plant height (h2 = 0.81) and kernel weight (h2 =0.77). There were 112 significant MTA (p < 0.0005) detected for eight measured traits using compressed mixed linear models and 5,715 single nucleotide polymorphism markers. MTA for GY and agronomic traits coincided with previously reported QTL for winter and spring wheat. Highly significant marker trait associations for GY showed an overall negative allelic effect for the minor allele, indicating selection against these alleles by breeders. Markers associated with multiple traits observed on chromosomes 1A, 2D, 3B, and 4B with positive minor effects serve as potential targets for marker assisted breeding to select for improvement of GY and related traits. Following marker validation, these multi-trait loci have the potential to be utilized for MAS to improve GY and adaptation of soft red winter wheat.