Table_3_Genetic Dissection of Snow Mold Tolerance in US Pacific Northwest Winter Wheat Through Genome-Wide Association Study and Genomic Selection.xlsx

Snow mold is a yield-limiting disease of wheat in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region of the US, where there is prolonged snow cover. The objectives of this study were to identify genomic regions associated with snow mold tolerance in a diverse panel of PNW winter wheat lines in a genome-wide association study (GWAS) and to evaluate the usefulness of genomic selection (GS) for snow mold tolerance. An association mapping panel (AMP; N = 458 lines) was planted in Mansfield and Waterville, WA in 2017 and 2018 and genotyped using the Illumina® 90K single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) array. GWAS identified 100 significant markers across 17 chromosomes, where SNPs on chromosomes 5A and 5B coincided with major freezing tolerance and vernalization loci. Increased number of favorable alleles was related to improved snow mold tolerance. Independent predictions using the AMP as a training population (TP) to predict snow mold tolerance of breeding lines evaluated between 2015 and 2018 resulted in a mean accuracy of 0.36 across models and marker sets. Modeling nonadditive effects improved accuracy even in the absence of a close genetic relatedness between the TP and selection candidates. Selecting lines based on genomic estimated breeding values and tolerance scores resulted in a 24% increase in tolerance. The identified genomic regions associated with snow mold tolerance demonstrated the genetic complexity of this trait and the difficulty in selecting tolerant lines using markers. GS was validated and showed potential for use in PNW winter wheat for selecting on complex traits such tolerance to snow mold.