Identification of genomic regions for grain yield and yield stability and their epistatic interactions.
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The task of identifying genomic regions conferring yield stability is challenging in any crop and requires large experimental data sets in conjunction with complex analytical approaches. We report findings of a first attempt to identify genomic regions with stable expression and their individual epistatic interactions for grain yield and yield stability in a large elite panel of wheat under multiple environments via a genome wide association mapping (GWAM) approach. Seven hundred and twenty lines were genotyped using genotyping-by-sequencing technology and phenotyped for grain yield and phenological traits. High gene diversity (0.250) and a moderate genetic structure (five groups) in the panel provided an excellent base for GWAM. The mixed linear model and multi-locus mixed model analyses identified key genomic regions on chromosomes 2B, 3A, 4A, 5B, 7A and 7B. Further, significant epistatic interactions were observed among loci with and without main effects that contributed to additional variation of up to 10%. Simple stepwise regression provided the most significant main effect and epistatic markers resulting in up to 20% variation for yield stability and up to 17% gain in yield with the best allelic combination.
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