Associations between DNA markers and resistance to diseases in sugarcane and effects of population substructure
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- Wei, X., Jackson, P.A., McIntyre, C.L. et al. Theor Appl Genet (2006) 114: 155. doi:10.1007/s00122-006-0418-8
Association between markers and sugarcane diseases were investigated in a collection of 154 sugarcane clones, consisting of important ancestors or parents, and cultivars. 1,068 polymorphic AFLP and 141 SRR markers were scored across all clones. Data on the four most important diseases in the Australian sugarcane industry were obtained; these diseases being pachymetra root rot (Pachymetra chaunorhiza B.J. Croft & M.W. Dick), leaf scald (Xanthomonas albilineans Dowson), Fiji leaf gall (Fiji disease virus), and smut (Ustilago scitaminea H. & P. Sydow). By a simple regression analysis, association between markers and diseases could be readily detected. However, many of these associations were due to the effects of embedded population structure and random effects. After taking population structure into account, we found that 59% of the phenotypic variation in smut resistance ratings could be accounted for by 11 markers, 32% of variation for leaf scald and pachymetra root rot rating by 4 markers, and 26% of Fiji leaf gall by 5 markers. The results suggest that marker–trait associations can be readily detected in populations generated from modern sugarcane breeding programs. This may be due to special features of past sugarcane breeding programs leading to persistent linkage disequilibrium in modern parental populations.