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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Multi-Parental Populations Suitable for Identifying Sources of Resistance to Powdery Mildew in Winter Wheat

Nordestgaard, Nana Vagndorf; Thach, Tine; Sarup, Pernille; Rodriguez-Algaba, Julian; Andersen, Jeppe Reitan; Hovmoller, Mogens Stovring; Jahoor, Ahmed; Jorgensen, Lise Nistrup; Orabi, Jihad


Wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) is one of the world's staple food crops and one of the most devastating foliar diseases attacking wheat is powdery mildew (PM). In Denmark only a few specific fungicides are available for controlling PM and the use of resistant cultivars is often recommended. In this study, two Chinese wheat landraces and two synthetic hexaploid wheat lines were used as donors for creating four multi-parental populations with a total of 717 individual lines to identify new PM resistance genetic variants. These lines and the nine parental lines (including the elite cultivars used to create the populations) were genotyped using a 20 K Illumina SNP chip, which resulted in 8,902 segregating single nucleotide polymorphisms for assessment of the population structure and whole genome association study. The largest genetic difference among the lines was between the donors and the elite cultivars, the second largest genetic difference was between the different donors; a difference that was also reflected in differences between the four multi-parental populations. The 726 lines were phenotyped for PM resistance in 2017 and 2018. A high PM disease pressure was observed in both seasons, with severities ranging from 0 to >50%. Whole genome association studies for genetic variation in PM resistance in the populations revealed significant markers mapped to either chromosome 2A, B, or D in each of the four populations. However, linkage disequilibrium between these putative quantitative trait loci (QTL) were all above 0.80, probably representing a single QTL. A combined analysis of all the populations confirmed this result and the most associated marker explained 42% of the variation in PM resistance. This study gives both knowledge about the resistance as well as molecular tools and plant material that can be utilised in marker-assisted selection. Additionally, the four populations produced in this study are highly suitable for association studies of other traits than PM resistance.


GWAS; Fungal disease; powdery mildew; wheat; multi-parental population

Published in

Frontiers in Plant Science
2021, volume: 11, article number: 570863

Authors' information

Vagndorf Nordestgaard, Nana
Nordic Seed A/S
Thach, Tine
Aarhus University
Sarup, Pernille
Nordic Seed AS
Rodriguez-Algaba, Julian
Aarhus University
Reitan Andersen, Jeppe
Nordic Seed AS
Hovmoller, Mogens Stovring
Aarhus University
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Nordic Seed A/S
Jorgensen, Lise Nistrup
Aarhus University
Orabi, Jihad
Nordic Seed AS

Associated SLU-program

SLU Network Plant Protection

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

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