Genome-wide association study of pre-harvest sprouting tolerance using a 90K SNP array in common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

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Key message: Three major loci for pre-harvest sprouting tolerance (PHST) were mapped on chromosomes 1AL, 3BS, and 6BL, and two CAPS and one dCAPS markers were validated. Sixteen lines with favorable alleles and increased PHST were identified. Abstract: Pre-harvest sprouting (PHS) significantly affects wheat grain yield and quality. In the present study, the PHS tolerance (PHST) of 192 wheat varieties (lines) was evaluated by assessment of field sprouting, seed germination index, and period of dormancy in different environments. A high-density Illumina iSelect 90K SNP array was used to genotype the panel. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) based on single- and multi-locus mixed linear models was used to detect loci for PHST. The single-locus model identified 23 loci for PHST (P < 0.0001) and explained 6.0–18.9% of the phenotypic variance. Twenty loci were consistent with known quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Three single-nucleotide polymorphism markers closely linked with three major loci (Qphs.ahau-1A, Qphs.ahau-3B, and Qphs.ahau-6B) on chromosomes 1AL, 3BS, and 6BL, respectively, were converted to two cleaved amplified polymorphic sequences (CAPS) and one derived-CAPS markers, and validated in 374 wheat varieties (lines). The CAPS marker EX06323 for Qphs.ahau-6B co-segregated with a novel major QTL underlying PHST in a recombinant inbred line population raised from the cross Jing 411 × Wanxianbaimaizi. Linear regression showed a clear dependence of PHST on the number of favorable alleles. Sixteen varieties showing an elevated degree of PHST were identified and harbored more than 16 favorable alleles. The multi-locus model detected 39 marker–trait associations for PHST (P < 0.0001), of which five may be novel. Six loci common to the two models were identified. The combination of the two GWAS methods contributes to efficient dissection of the complex genetic mechanism of PHST.




Zhu, Y., Wang, S., Wei, W., Xie, H., Liu, K., Zhang, C., … Ma, C. (2019). Genome-wide association study of pre-harvest sprouting tolerance using a 90K SNP array in common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 132(11), 2947–2963.

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