Genes 11 (12) 1512 [2020-12-18; online 2020-12-18]
Blumeria graminis f. sp. hordei (Bgh), the causal agent of barley powdery mildew (PM), is one of the most important barley leaf diseases and is prevalent in most barley growing regions. Infection decreases grain quality and yields on average by 30%. Multi-parent advanced generation inter-cross (MAGIC) populations combine the advantages of bi-parental and association panels and offer the opportunity to incorporate exotic alleles into adapted material. Here, four barley MAGIC populations consisting of six to eight founders were tested for PM resistance in field trials in Denmark. Principle component and STRUCTURE analysis showed the populations were unstructured and genome-wide linkage disequilibrium (LD) decay varied between 14 and 38 Mbp. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) identified 11 regions associated with PM resistance located on chromosomes 1H, 2H, 3H, 4H, 5H and 7H, of which three regions are putatively novel resistance quantitative trait locus/loci (QTL). For all regions high-confidence candidate genes were identified that are predicted to be involved in pathogen defense. Haplotype analysis of the significant SNPs revealed new allele combinations not present in the founders and associated with high resistance levels.