Table_9_Uncovering Genomic Regions Associated With 36 Agro-Morphological Traits in Indian Spring Wheat Using GWAS.xlsx

Wheat genetic improvement by integration of advanced genomic technologies is one way of improving productivity. To facilitate the breeding of economically important traits in wheat, SNP loci and underlying candidate genes associated with the 36 agro-morphological traits were studied in a diverse panel of 404 genotypes. By using Breeders’ 35K Axiom array in a comprehensive genome-wide association study covering 4364.79 cM of the wheat genome and applying a compressed mixed linear model, a total of 146 SNPs (-log10P ≥ 4) were found associated with 23 traits out of 36 traits studied explaining 3.7–47.0% of phenotypic variance. To reveal this a subset of 260 genotypes was characterized phenotypically for six quantitative traits [days to heading (DTH), days to maturity (DTM), plant height (PH), spike length (SL), awn length (Awn_L), and leaf length (Leaf_L)] under five environments. Gene annotations mined ∼38 putative candidate genes which were confirmed using tissue and stage specific gene expression data from RNA Seq. We observed strong co-localized loci for four traits (glume pubescence, SL, PH, and awn color) on chromosome 1B (24.64 cM) annotated five putative candidate genes. This study led to the discovery of hitherto unreported loci for some less explored traits (such as leaf sheath wax, awn attitude, and glume pubescence) besides the refined chromosomal regions of known loci associated with the traits. This study provides valuable information of the genetic loci and their potential genes underlying the traits such as awn characters which are being considered as important contributors toward yield enhancement.