Uncovering the genetic basis of agronomic traits in wheat landraces is
important for ensuring global food security via the development of
improved varieties. Here, 723 wheat landraces from 10 Chinese
agro-ecological zones were evaluated for 23 agronomic traits in six
environments. All accessions could be clustered into five subgroups
based on phenotypic data via discriminant function analysis, which was
highly consistent with genotypic classification. A genome-wide
association study was conducted for these traits using 52,303 DArT-seq
markers to identify marker-trait associations and candidate genes. Using
both the general linear model and the mixed linear model, 149
significant markers were identified for 21 agronomic traits based on
best linear unbiased prediction values. Considering the linkage
disequilibrium decay distance in this study, significant markers within
10 cM were combined as a quantitative trait locus (QTL), with a total of
29 QTL identified for 15 traits. Of these, five QTL for heading data,
flag leaf width, peduncle length, and thousand kernel weight had been
reported previously. Twenty-five candidate genes associated with
significant markers were identified. They included the known
vernalization genes VRN-B1 and vrn-B3 and the photoperiod response genes Ppd and PRR.
Overall, this study should be helpful in elucidating the underlying
genetic mechanisms of complex agronomic traits and performing
marker-assisted selection in wheat.
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