Molecular Biology Reports

, Volume 47, Issue 2, pp 1241–1256 | Cite as

Genome-wide association mapping for adult resistance to powdery mildew in common wheat

  • Yichen Kang
  • Karen Barry
  • Fangbing Cao
  • Meixue ZhouEmail author
Original Article


Blumeria graminis f. sp. tritici, the causal agent of wheat powdery mildew disease, can occur at all stages of the crop and constantly threatens wheat production. To identify candidate resistance genes for powdery mildew, we performed GWAS (genome-wide association studies) on a total set of 329 wheat varieties obtained from different origins. These wheat materials were genotyped using wheat 90K SNP array and evaluated for their resistance in either field or glasshouse condition from 2016 to 2018. Using a mixed linear model, 33 SNP markers of which 14 QTL (quantitative trait loci) were later defined were observed to associate with powdery mildew resistance. Among these, QTL on chromosome 3A, 3B, 6D and 7D were concluded as potentially new QTL. Exploration of candidate genes for new QTL suggested roles of these genes involved in encoding disease resistance and defence-related proteins, and regulating early immune response to the pathogen. Overall, the results reveal that GWAS can be an effective means of identifying marker-trait associations, though further functional validation and fine-mapping of gene candidates are required before creating opportunities for developing new resistant genotypes.


Wheat Powdery mildew Marker-trait association Single nucleotide polymorphism Quantitative trait loci 



We would like to thank Dr. Ross Corkrey for providing valuable suggestions on statistical analysis.

Author contributions

YK conducted the phenotyping for the 2017 and 2108 studies performed the GWAS analysis and drafted the manuscript. FC conducted the phenotyping for the 2016 study. KB contributed to editing the manuscript. MZ conceived the study, generated the genotyping data and critically reviewed the mauscript.


This work was supported by the Grains Research and Development Corporation of Australia, Grant UT00030 and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (2019QNA6022).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interest.

Supplementary material

11033_2019_5225_MOESM1_ESM.docx (811 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 811 kb)
11033_2019_5225_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (46 kb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 45 kb)


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© Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.TIA, University of TasmaniaLauncestonAustralia
  2. 2.TIA, University of TasmaniaHobartAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Agronomy, College of Agriculture and Biotechnology, Zijingang CampusZhejiang UniversityHangzhouChina

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