Statistics, Department of


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Iqbal, M.; Semagn, K.; Jarquin, D.; Randhawa, H.; McCallum, B.D.; Howard, R.; Aboukhaddour, R.; Ciechanowska, I.; Strenzke, K.; Crossa, J.; et al. Identification of Disease Resistance Parents and Genome-Wide Association Mapping of Resistance in Spring Wheat. Plants 2022, 11, 2905. plants11212905


Open access.


The likelihood of success in developing modern cultivars depend on multiple factors, including the identification of suitable parents to initiate new crosses, and characterizations of genomic regions associated with target traits. The objectives of the present study were to (a) determine the best economic weights of four major wheat diseases (leaf spot, common bunt, leaf rust, and stripe rust) and grain yield for multi-trait restrictive linear phenotypic selection index (RLPSI), (b) select the top 10% cultivars and lines (hereafter referred as genotypes) with better resistance to combinations of the four diseases and acceptable grain yield as potential parents, and (c) map genomic regions associated with resistance to each disease using genome-wide association study (GWAS). A diversity panel of 196 spring wheat genotypes was evaluated for their reaction to stripe rust at eight environments, leaf rust at four environments, leaf spot at three environments, common bunt at two environments, and grain yield at five environments. The panel was genotyped with the Wheat 90K SNP array and a few KASP SNPs of which we used 23,342 markers for statistical analyses. The RLPSI analysis performed by restricting the expected genetic gain for yield displayed significant (p < 0.05) differences among the 3125 economic weights. Using the best four economic weights, a subset of 22 of the 196 genotypes were selected as potential parents with resistance to the four diseases and acceptable grain yield. GWAS identified 37 genomic regions, which included 12 for common bunt, 13 for leaf rust, 5 for stripe rust, and 7 for leaf spot. Each genomic region explained from 6.6 to 16.9% and together accounted for 39.4% of the stripe rust, 49.1% of the leaf spot, 94.0% of the leaf rust, and 97.9% of the common bunt phenotypic variance combined across all environments. Results from this study provide valuable information for wheat breeders selecting parental combinations for new crosses to develop improved germplasm with enhanced resistance to the four diseases as well as the physical positions of genomic regions that confer resistance, which facilitates direct comparisons for independent mapping studies in the future.