Validation of Novel spot blotch disease resistance alleles identified in unexplored wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) germplasm lines through KASP markers
Background During the last few decades, the diverse sources of resistance, several genes and QTLs for spot blotch resistance have been identified. However, a large set of germplasm lines are still unexplored that have the potential to develop highly resistant wheat cultivars for the target environments. Therefore, the identification of new sources of resistance to spot blotch is essential for breeding programmes to develop spot blotch resistant cultivars and sustain wheat production. The association mapping panel of 294 diverse bread wheat accessions was used to explore new sources of spot blotch disease resistance and to identify genomic regions using genome wide association analysis (GWAS). The genotypes were tested in replicated trials for spot blotch disease at three major hot spots in India (Varanasi in UP, Pusa in Bihar, and Cooch Behar in West Bengal). The area under the disease progress curve (AUDPC) was calculated to assess the level of resistance in each genotype. Results A total of 19 highly and 76 moderately resistant lines were identified. Three accessions (EC664204, IC534306 and IC535188) were nearly immune to spot blotch disease. The genotyping of all accessions resulted in a total of 16,787 high-quality polymorphic SNPs. The GWAS was performed using a Compressed Mixed Linear Model (CMLM) and a Mixed Linear Model (MLM). A total of seven significant MTAs, common in both the models and consistent across the environment, were further validated to develop KASP markers. Four MTAs (AX-94710084, AX-94865722, AX-95135556, and AX-94529408) on three chromosomes (2AL, 2BL, and 3BL) have been successfully validated through the KASP marker. Conclusions The new source of resistance was identified from unexplored germplasm lines. The genomic regions identified through GWAS were validated through KASP markers. The marker information and the highly resistant sources are valuable resources to rapidly develop immune or near immune wheat varieties.