Molecular Breeding

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 139–154 | Cite as

Genome-wide association mapping reveals genetic architecture of durable spot blotch resistance in US barley breeding germplasm

  • Hao Zhou
  • Brian SteffensonEmail author


Spot blotch, an economically important disease of both barley and wheat, is caused by Cochliobolus sativus (anamorph: Bipolaris sorokiniana). The disease has been reported in many regions of the world, but is particularly severe on barley in the Upper Midwest region of the USA and adjacent areas of Canada. For over 50 years, spot blotch has been effectively controlled through the deployment of durable resistance in six-rowed malting cultivars. To characterize loci conferring spot blotch resistance in US barley germplasm, we employed an association mapping approach using 3,840 breeding lines and cultivars. Three quantitative trait loci (QTL), Rcs-qtl-1H-11_10764, Rcs-qtl-3H-11_10565 and Rcs-qtl-7H-11_20162, were found to confer both seedling and adult plant resistance. Together, these three QTL comprise the Midwest Six-rowed Durable Resistant Haplotype (MSDRH), which is present in all Midwest six-rowed cultivars released since the 1960s. Each QTL alone only partially reduced disease levels, but combining all three together reduced the seedling infection response and adult plant disease severity by 47 and 83 %, respectively. The identified MSDRH will be valuable for marker-assisted selection of breeding lines to deploy spot blotch resistance and can also be incorporated into genomic selection as one of the disease resistance traits.


Spot blotch Association mapping Quantitative trait locus 



We are grateful for the assistance provided by James Cockram and Jon White from the National Institute of Agricultural Botany, Huntington Road, Cambridge, CB3 0LE, UK for the analysis of pair-wise marker associations in estimating the LD decay. This research was supported by the Barley Coordinated Agricultural Project (No. USDA-CSREES-2006-55606-16722) of the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the Lieberman–Okinow Endowment at the University of Minnesota.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Plant PathologySt. PaulUSA

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