Genome wide association studies (GWAS) of spot blotch resistance at the seedling and the adult plant stages in a collection of spring barley
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Spot blotch (SB) in barley is caused by the fungal pathogen Cochliobolus sativus and considered one of the major constraints to successful barley production. Resistance to C. sativus was evaluated, using a barley collection of 336 genotypes (AM-2014), at the seedling and adult stages. Seedling resistance was evaluated by using a mixture of 19 virulent isolates in Morocco. Virulent isolates prevalent in Uttar Pradesh were used for phenotyping resistance at the adult stage in India. The AM-2014 panel was genotyped with 9-K single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers using iSelect Illumina Infinium. Genome wide association studies (GWAS) were carried out using SNP markers, infection responses, disease severity, and area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC). The mixed linear model was employed in TASSEL using principal component analysis (PCA) and Kinship matrix (K) as covariates. Higher SB severity, 82.3 ± 13.5 (mean ± SD), was recorded at the Banaras Hindu University (BHU) compared to 47.6 ± 15.0 at the Narendra Dev University of Agriculture and Technology (NDUAT). Nine QTL, Rcs-qtl-1H-126.9, Rcs-qtl-2H-148.16, Rcs-qtl-3H-25.27, Rcs-qtl-5H-80.35, Rcs-qtl-6H-58.24, Rcs-qtl-7H-29.62, Rcs-qtl-7H-29.72, Rcs-qtl-7H-32.81, and Rcs-qtl-7H-34.74, were detected for SB resistance at the seedling stage. For SB severity at the adult stage, a QTL, Rcs-qtl-7H-32.81, was detected at BHU while seven QTL, Rcs-qtl-2H-91.09, Rcs-qtl-3H-145.64, Rcs-qtl-4H-14.43, Rcs-qtl-6H-6.49, Rcs-qtl-7H-114.43, Rcs-qtl-7H-151.66, and Rcs-qtl-7H-150.36, were found for SB severity at NDUAT. Three QTL, Rcs-qtl-4H-18.61, Rcs-qtl-4H-67.91, and Rcs-qtl-5H-110.25, were significant for AUDPC of SB at BHU. The QTLs reported in this study are important to advance marker-assisted selection and gene pyramiding of SB resistance in South Asia and North Africa in future.