Genetic architecture of agronomic and quality traits in a nested association mapping population of spring wheat

Ahmad H. Sallam, Fazal Manan, Prabin Bajgain, Matthew Martin, Tamas Szinyei, Emily J Conley, Gina Brown-Guedira, Gary J. Muehlbauer, James A. Anderson, Brian J. Steffenson

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9 Scopus citations


Germplasm collections are rich sources of genetic variation to improve crops for many valuable traits. Nested association mapping (NAM) populations can overcome the limitations of genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in germplasm collections by reducing the effect of population structure. We exploited the genetic diversity of the USDA-ARS wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) core collection by developing the Spring Wheat Multiparent Introgression Population (SWMIP). To develop this population, twenty-five core parents were crossed and backcrossed to the Minnesota spring wheat cultivar RB07. The NAM population and 26 founder parents were genotyped using genotyping-by-sequencing and phenotyped for heading date, height, test weight, and grain protein content. After quality control, 20,312 markers with physical map positions were generated for 2,038 recombinant inbred lines (RILs). The number of RILs in each family varied between 58 and 96. Three GWAS models were utilized for quantitative trait loci (QTL) detection and accounted for known family stratification, genetic kinship, and both covariates. GWAS was performed on the whole population and also by bootstrap sampling of an equal number of RILs from each family. Greater power of QTL detection was achieved by treating families equally through bootstrapping. In total 16, 15, 12, and 13 marker-trait associations (MTAs) were identified for heading date, height, test weight, and grain protein content, respectively. Some of these MTAs were coincident with major genes known to control the traits, but others were novel and contributed by the wheat core parents. The SWMIP will be a valuable source of genetic variation for spring wheat breeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere20051
JournalPlant Genome
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2020

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Jean‐Luc Jannink for sharing the R function to perform cluster analysis and Susan Reynolds, Oadi Matny, and Saddeka Zeada for technical assistance in the field and seed processing. This research was supported by the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council, United States Agency for International Development to the University of California, Davis (Award #201400223‐13 amendment 2 NCE), and the Lieberman‐Okinow Endowment at the University of Minnesota.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 The Authors. The Plant Genome published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Crop Science Society of America


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