Genome-wide association study (GWAS) on 358 Chinese wheat germplasms and validation in a biparental population identified a novel significant genomic region on 5DL for FCR resistance.


Fusarium crown rot (FCR) is a chronic and severe disease in many dryland wheat-producing areas worldwide. In the last few years, the incidence and severity of FCR progressively increased in China, and the disease has currently become a new threat to local wheat crops. Here, we report a genome-wide association study (GWAS) on a set of 358 Chinese germplasms with the wheat 55 K SNP array. A total of 104 SNPs on chromosomes 1BS, 1DS, 2AL, 5AL, 5DS, 5DL, 6BS and 7BL were significantly associated with seedling resistance to FCR in the association panel. Of these SNPs, a novel 13.78 Mb region targeted by five SNPs on chromosome arm 5DL was continually detected in all three trials. The effects of this region on FCR resistance was confirmed in biparental population. qRT-PCR showed that within this 5DL region, several genes encoding TIR-NBS-LRR proteins and proteins related to mycotoxins deoxynivalenol (DON) detoxification increased rapidly in the disease-resistant variety 04 Zhong 36 than the susceptible variety Xinmai 26 after inoculation. Our study provides new insights into gene discovery and creation of new cultivars with desirable alleles for improving FCR resistance in wheat.