Genetic dissection of grain iron and zinc concentrations in lentil (Lens culinaris Medik.)
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Iron (Fe) and zinc (Zn) deficiencies are wide spread in South Asia and Africa. Biofortification of food crops is a viable means of addressing micronutrient deficiencies. Lentil is an important pulse crop that provides affordable source of proteins, minerals, fibre and carbohydrates for micronutrient deficient countries. An association mapping (AM) panel of 96 diverse lentil genotypes from India and Mediterranean region was evaluated for three seasons and genotyped using 80 polymorphic simple-sequence repeat (SSR) markers for identification of the markers associated with grain Fe and Zn concentrations. A Bayesian model based clustering identified five subpopulations, adequately explaining the genetic structure of the AM panel. The linkage disequilibrium (LD) analysis using mixed linear model (MLM) identified two SSR markers, GLLC 106 and GLLC 108, associated with grain Fe concentration explaining 17% and 6% phenotypic variation, respectively and three SSR markers (PBALC 364, PBALC 92 and GLLC592) associated with grain Zn concentration, explaining 6%, 8% and 13% phenotypic variation, respectively. The identified SSRs exhibited consistent performance across three seasons and have potential for utilization in lentil molecular breeding programme.