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Multi-locus genome-wide association studies reveal novel alleles for flowering time under vernalisation and extended photoperiod in a barley MAGIC population

Dang, V.H., Hill, C.B.ORCID: 0000-0002-6754-5553, Zhang, X-Q, Angessa, T.T., McFawn, L-A and Li, C. (2022) Multi-locus genome-wide association studies reveal novel alleles for flowering time under vernalisation and extended photoperiod in a barley MAGIC population. Theoretical and Applied Genetics, 135 . pp. 3087-3102.

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Optimal flowering time has a major impact on grain yield in crop species, including the globally important temperate cereal crop barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Understanding the genetics of flowering is a key avenue to enhancing yield potential. Although bi-parental populations were used intensively to map genes controlling flowering, their lack of genetic diversity requires additional work to obtain desired gene combinations in the selected lines, especially when the two parental cultivars did not carry the genes. Multi-parent mapping populations, which use a combination of four or eight parental cultivars, have higher genetic and phenotypic diversity and can provide novel genetic combinations that cannot be achieved using bi-parental populations. This study uses a Multi-parent advanced generation intercross (MAGIC) population from four commercial barley cultivars to identify genes controlling flowering time in different environmental conditions. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) were performed using 5,112 high-quality markers from Diversity Arrays Technology sequencing (DArT-seq), and Kompetitive allele-specific polymerase chain reaction (KASP) genetic markers were developed. Phenotypic data were collected from fifteen different field trials for three consecutive years. Planting was conducted at various sowing times, and plants were grown with/without additional vernalisation and extended photoperiod treatments. This study detected fourteen stable regions associated with flowering time across multiple environments. GWAS combined with pangenome data highlighted the role of CEN gene in flowering and enabled the prediction of different CEN alleles from parental lines. As the founder lines of the multi-parental population are elite germplasm, the favourable alleles identified in this study are directly relevant to breeding, increasing the efficiency of subsequent breeding strategies and offering better grain yield and adaptation to growing conditions.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Agricultural Sciences
Western Crop Genetics Alliance
Publisher: Springer Verlag
Copyright: © 2022 The Authors.
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