Genome-wide association study in Asia-adapted tropical maize reveals novel and explored genomic regions for sorghum downy mildew resistance.
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Globally, downy mildews are among the important foliar diseases of maize that cause significant yield losses. We conducted a genome-wide association study for sorghum downy mildew (SDM; Peronosclerospora sorghi) resistance in a panel of 368 inbred lines adapted to the Asian tropics. High density SNPs from Genotyping-by-sequencing were used in GWAS after controlling for population structure and kinship in the panel using a single locus mixed model. The study identified a set of 26 SNPs that were significantly associated with SDM resistance, with Bonferroni corrected P values <= 0.05. Among all the identified SNPs, the minor alleles were found to be favorable to SDM resistance in the mapping panel. Trend regression analysis with 16 independent genetic variants including 12 SNPs and four haplotype blocks identified SNP S2_6154311 on chromosome 2 with P value 2.61E-24 and contributing 26.7% of the phenotypic variation. Six of the SNPs/haplotypes were within the same chromosomal bins as the QTLs for SDM resistance mapped in previous studies. Apart from this, eight novel genomic regions for SDM resistance were identified in this study; they need further validation before being applied in the breeding pipeline. Ten SNPs identified in this study were co-located in reported mildew resistance genes.
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