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Fast integration and accumulation of beneficial breeding alleles through an AB-NAMIC strategy in wheat

Jiao Chengzhi; Hao Chenyang; Li Tian; Bohra Abhishek; Wang Lanfen; Hou Jian; Liu Hongxia; Liu Hong; Zhao Jing; Wang Yamei; Liu Yunchuan; Wang Zhiwei; Jing Xin; Wang Xiue; Varshney Rajeev K.; Fu Junjie; Zhang Xueyong.

Plant Communications, 2023, IF 10.50



Wheat (Triticum aestivum) is among the most important staple crops for safeguarding the food security of the growing world population. To bridge the gap between genebank diversity and breeding programs, we developed an advanced backcross-nested association mapping plus inter-crossed population (AB- NAMIC) by crossing three popular wheat cultivars as recurrent founders to 20 germplasm lines from a mini core collection. Selective backcrossing combined with selection against undesirable traits and exten-sive crossing within and between sub-populations created new opportunities to detect unknown genes and increase the frequency of beneficial alleles in the AB-NAMIC population. We performed phenotyping of 590 AB-NAMIC lines and a natural panel of 476 cultivars for six consecutive growing seasons and genotyped these 1066 lines with a 660K SNP array. Genome-wide association studies of both panels for plant devel-opment and yield traits demonstrated improved power to detect rare alleles and loci with medium genetic effects in AB-NAMIC. Notably, genome-wide association studies in AB-NAMIC detected the candidate gene TaSWEET6-7B (TraesCS7B03G1216700), which has high homology to the rice SWEET6b gene and ex-erts strong effects on adaptation and yield traits. The commercial release of two derived AB-NAMIC lines attests to its direct applicability in wheat improvement. Valuable information on genome-wide association study mapping, candidate genes, and their haplotypes for breeding traits are available through WheatGAB. Our research provides an excellent framework for fast-tracking exploration and accumulation of beneficial alleles stored in genebanks.