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PLoS One. 2014 Sep 30;9(9):e108179. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0108179. eCollection 2014.

Genome-wide association study reveals novel quantitative trait Loci associated with resistance to multiple leaf spot diseases of spring wheat.

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Department of Plant Pathology, University of California Davis, United States Department of Agriculture-Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS), Salinas, California, United States of America.
Department of Plant Sciences, North Dakota State University, Fargo, North Dakota, United States of America.
USDA-ARS, Small Grains and Potato Germplasm Research Unit, Aberdeen, Idaho, United States of America.
USDA-ARS, Plant Science Research Unit, Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America.
Center for Integrated Pest Management and Department of Plant Pathology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina, United States of America.


Accelerated wheat development and deployment of high-yielding, climate resilient, and disease resistant cultivars can contribute to enhanced food security and sustainable intensification. To facilitate gene discovery, we assembled an association mapping panel of 528 spring wheat landraces of diverse geographic origin for a genome-wide association study (GWAS). All accessions were genotyped using an Illumina Infinium 9K wheat single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) chip and 4781 polymorphic SNPs were used for analysis. To identify loci underlying resistance to the major leaf spot diseases and to better understand the genomic patterns, we quantified population structure, allelic diversity, and linkage disequilibrium. Our results showed 32 loci were significantly associated with resistance to the major leaf spot diseases. Further analysis identified QTL effective against major leaf spot diseases of wheat which appeared to be novel and others that were previously identified by association analysis using Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) and bi-parental mapping. In addition, several identified SNPs co-localized with genes that have been implicated in plant disease resistance. Future work could aim to select the putative novel loci and pyramid them in locally adapted wheat cultivars to develop broad-spectrum resistance to multiple leaf spot diseases of wheat via marker-assisted selection (MAS).

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