Genetic characterization of the wheat association mapping initiative (WAMI) panel for dissection of complex traits in spring wheat. uri icon


  • The wheat association mapping initiative (WAMI) population is a set of 287 diverse advanced wheat lines with a narrow range of variation for days to heading (DH) and plant height (PH). This study aimed to characterize the WAMI and showed that this diverse panel has a favorable genetic background in which stress adaptive traits and their alleles contributing to final yield can be identified with reduced confounding major gene effects through genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Using single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers, we observed lower gene diversity on the D genome, compared with the other genomes. Population structure was primarily related to the distribution of the 1B.1R rye translocation. The narrow range of variation for DH and PH in the WAMI population still entailed segregation for a few markers associated with the former traits, while Rht genes were associated with grain yield (GY). Genotype by environment (G x E) interaction for GY was primarily explained by Rht-B1, Vrn-A1 and markers on chromosomes 2D and 3A when running GWAS with genotype scores from the G x E biplot. The use of PC scores from the G x E biplot seems a promising tool to determine genes and markers associated with complex interactions across environments. The WAMI panel lends itself to GWAS for complex trait dissection by avoiding the confounding effects of DH and PH which were reduced to a minimum (using Rht-B1 and Vrn-A1 scores as covariables), with significant associations with GY on chromosomes 2D, 3A and 3B.
  • The wheat association mapping initiative is appropriate for gene discovery without the confounding effects of phenology and plant height.

publication date

  • 2015
  • 2015