Marker-trait associations in Virginia Tech winter barley identified using genome-wide mapping.
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Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) provide an opportunity to examine the genetic architecture of quantitatively inherited traits in breeding populations. The objectives of this study were to use GWAS to identify chromosome regions governing traits of importance in six-rowed winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) germplasm and to identify single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) markers that can be implemented in a marker-assisted breeding program. Advanced hulled and hulless lines (329 total) were screened using 3,072 SNPs as a part of the US. Barley Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP). Phenotypic data collected over 4years for agronomic and food quality traits and resistance to leaf rust (caused by Puccinia hordei G. Otth), powdery mildew [caused by Blumeria graminis (DC.) E.O. Speer f. sp. hordei Em. Marchal], net blotch (caused by Pyrenophora teres), and spot blotch [caused by Cochliobolus sativus (Ito and Kuribayashi) Drechsler ex Dastur] were analyzed with SNP genotypic data in a GWAS to determine marker-trait associations. Significant SNPs associated with previously described quantitative trait loci (QTL) or genes were identified for heading date on chromosome 3H, test weight on 2H, yield on 7H, grain protein on 5H, polyphenol oxidase activity on 2H and resistance to leaf rust on 2H and 3H, powdery mildew on 1H, 2H and 4H, net blotch on 5H, and spot blotch on 7H. Novel QTL also were identified for agronomic, quality, and disease resistance traits. These SNP-trait associations provide the opportunity to directly select for QTL contributing to multiple traits in breeding programs.