Genetic characterization and genome-wide association mapping for stem rust resistance in spring bread wheat
Emerging wheat stem rust races have become a major threat to global wheat production. Finding additional loci responsible for resistance to these races and incorporating them into currently cultivated varieties is the most economic and environmentally sound strategy to combat this problem. Thus, this study was aimed at characterizing the genetic diversity and identifying the genetic loci conferring resistance to the stem rust of wheat. To accomplish this, 245 elite lines introduced from the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) were evaluated under natural stem rust pressure in the field at the Debre Zeit Agricultural Research Center, Ethiopia. The single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) marker data was retrieved from a 15 K SNP wheat array. A mixed linear model was used to investigate the association between SNP markers and the best linear unbiased prediction (BLUP) values of the stem rust coefficient of infection (CI).