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The Plant Genome Abstract - Original Research

Genetic Diversity, Population Structure, and Linkage Disequilibrium in U.S. Elite Winter Wheat


This article in TPG

  1. Vol. 3 No. 2, p. 117-127
    unlockOPEN ACCESS
    Received: Dec 21, 2009
    Accepted: Sept 15, 2010

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  1. Dadong Zhang,
  2. Guihua Bai ,
  3. Chengsong Zhu,
  4. Jianming Yu and
  5. Brett F. Carver
  1. Dadong Zhang, Chengsong Zhu, and Jianming Yu, Dep. of Agronomy, Kansas State Univ., 2004 Throckmorton Hall, Manhattan, KS 66506; Guihua Bai, USDA-ARS Hard Winter Wheat Genetics Research Unit, Manhattan, KS 66506; Brett Carver, Dep. of Plant and Soil Sciences, Oklahoma State Univ., 368 Agricultural Hall, Stillwater, OK 74078.


Information on genetic diversity and population structure of elite wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) breeding lines promotes effective use of genetic resources. We analyzed 205 elite wheat breeding lines from major winter wheat breeding programs in the USA using 245 markers across the wheat genomes. This collection showed a high level of genetic diversity as reflected by allele number per locus (7.2) and polymorphism information content (0.54). However, the diversity of U.S. modern wheat appeared to be lower than previously reported diversity levels in worldwide germplasm collections. As expected, this collection was highly structured according to geographic origin and market class with soft and hard wheat clearly separated from each other. Hard wheat accessions were further divided into three subpopulations. Linkage disequilibrium (LD) was primarily distributed around centromere regions. The mean genome-wide LD decay estimate was 10 cM (r2 > 0.1), although the extent of LD was highly variable throughout the genome. Our results on genetic diversity of different gene pools and the distribution of LD facilitates the effective use of genetic resources for wheat breeding and the choice of marker density in gene mapping and marker-assisted breeding.

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