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Theor Appl Genet. 2013 Jun;126(6):1477-86. doi: 10.1007/s00122-013-2065-1. Epub 2013 Feb 22.

Population structure, genetic diversity and linkage disequilibrium in elite winter wheat assessed with SNP and SSR markers.

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State Plant Breeding Institute, University of Hohenheim, 70593 Stuttgart, Germany.


Modern genomics approaches rely on the availability of high-throughput and high-density genotyping platforms. A major breakthrough in wheat genotyping was the development of an SNP array. In this study, we used a diverse panel of 172 elite European winter wheat lines to evaluate the utility of the SNP array for genomic analyses in wheat germplasm derived from breeding programs. We investigated population structure and genetic relatedness and found that the results obtained with SNP and SSR markers differ. This suggests that additional research is required to determine the optimum approach for the investigation of population structure and kinship. Our analysis of linkage disequilibrium (LD) showed that LD decays within approximately 5-10 cM. Moreover, we found that LD is variable along chromosomes. Our results suggest that the number of SNPs needs to be increased further to obtain a higher coverage of the chromosomes. Taken together, SNPs can be a valuable tool for genomics approaches and for a knowledge-based improvement of wheat.

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