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PLoS One. 2011 Feb 18;6(2):e17279. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0017279.

Genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium in Chinese bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) revealed by SSR markers.

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Key Laboratory of Crop Germplasm Resources and Utilization, Ministry of Agriculture, The National Key Facility for Crop Gene Resources and Genetic Improvement, Institute of Crop Science, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing, China.


Two hundred and fifty bread wheat lines, mainly Chinese mini core accessions, were assayed for polymorphism and linkage disequilibrium (LD) based on 512 whole-genome microsatellite loci representing a mean marker density of 5.1 cM. A total of 6,724 alleles ranging from 1 to 49 per locus were identified in all collections. The mean PIC value was 0.650, ranging from 0 to 0.965. Population structure and principal coordinate analysis revealed that landraces and modern varieties were two relatively independent genetic sub-groups. Landraces had a higher allelic diversity than modern varieties with respect to both genomes and chromosomes in terms of total number of alleles and allelic richness. 3,833 (57.0%) and 2,788 (41.5%) rare alleles with frequencies of <5% were found in the landrace and modern variety gene pools, respectively, indicating greater numbers of rare variants, or likely new alleles, in landraces. Analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) showed that A genome had the largest genetic differentiation and D genome the lowest. In contrast to genetic diversity, modern varieties displayed a wider average LD decay across the whole genome for locus pairs with r(2)>0.05 (P<0.001) than the landraces. Mean LD decay distance for the landraces at the whole genome level was <5 cM, while a higher LD decay distance of 5-10 cM in modern varieties. LD decay distances were also somewhat different for each of the 21 chromosomes, being higher for most of the chromosomes in modern varieties (<5 ∼ 25 cM) compared to landraces (<5 ∼ 15 cM), presumably indicating the influences of domestication and breeding. This study facilitates predicting the marker density required to effectively associate genotypes with traits in Chinese wheat genetic resources.

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