Characterization of the genetic basis of local adaptation of wheat landraces from Iran and Pakistan using genome-wide association study
Characterization of genomic regions underlying adaptation of landraces can reveal a quantitative genetics framework for local wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) adaptability. A collection of 512 wheat landraces from the eastern edge of the Fertile Crescent in Iran and Pakistan were genotyped using genome-wide single nucleotide polymorphism markers generated by genotyping-by-sequencing. The minor allele frequency (MAF) and the heterozygosity (H) of Pakistani wheat landraces (MAF = 0.19, H = 0.008) were slightly higher than the Iranian wheat landraces (MAF = 0.17, H = 0.005), indicating that Pakistani landraces were slightly more genetically diverse. Population structure analysis clearly separated the Pakistani landraces from Iranian landraces, which indicates two separate adaptability trajectories. The large-scale agro-climatic data of seven variables were quite dissimilar between Iran and Pakistan as revealed by the correlation coefficients. Genome-wide association study identified 91 and 58 loci using agroclimatic data, which likely underpin local adaptability of the wheat landraces from Iran and Pakistan, respectively. Selective sweep analysis identified significant hits on chromosomes 4A, 4B, 6B, 7B, 2D, and 6D, which were colocalized with the loci associated with local adaptability and with some known genes related to flowering time and grain size. This study provides insight into the genetic diversity with emphasis on the genetic architecture of loci involved in adaptation to local environments, which has breeding implications.