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      Genome-wide association analyses of 54 traits identified multiple loci for the determination of floret fertility in wheat

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      New Phytologist

      Wiley-Blackwell

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          Abstract

          Increasing grain yield is still the main target of wheat breeding; yet today's wheat plants utilize less than half of their yield potential. Owing to the difficulty of determining grain yield potential in a large population, few genetic factors regulating floret fertility (i.e. the difference between grain yield potential and grain number) have been reported to date. In this study, we conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) by quantifying 54 traits (16 floret fertility traits and 38 traits for assimilate partitioning and spike morphology) in 210 European winter wheat accessions. The results of this GWAS experiment suggested potential associations between floret fertility, assimilate partitioning and spike morphology revealed by shared quantitative trait loci (QTLs). Several candidate genes involved in carbohydrate metabolism, phytohormones or floral development colocalized with such QTLs, thereby providing potential targets for selection. Based on our GWAS results we propose a genetic network underlying floret fertility and related traits, nominating determinants for improved yield performance.

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          Most cited references 53

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          Principal components analysis corrects for stratification in genome-wide association studies.

          Population stratification--allele frequency differences between cases and controls due to systematic ancestry differences-can cause spurious associations in disease studies. We describe a method that enables explicit detection and correction of population stratification on a genome-wide scale. Our method uses principal components analysis to explicitly model ancestry differences between cases and controls. The resulting correction is specific to a candidate marker's variation in frequency across ancestral populations, minimizing spurious associations while maximizing power to detect true associations. Our simple, efficient approach can easily be applied to disease studies with hundreds of thousands of markers.
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            Fast model-based estimation of ancestry in unrelated individuals.

            Population stratification has long been recognized as a confounding factor in genetic association studies. Estimated ancestries, derived from multi-locus genotype data, can be used to perform a statistical correction for population stratification. One popular technique for estimation of ancestry is the model-based approach embodied by the widely applied program structure. Another approach, implemented in the program EIGENSTRAT, relies on Principal Component Analysis rather than model-based estimation and does not directly deliver admixture fractions. EIGENSTRAT has gained in popularity in part owing to its remarkable speed in comparison to structure. We present a new algorithm and a program, ADMIXTURE, for model-based estimation of ancestry in unrelated individuals. ADMIXTURE adopts the likelihood model embedded in structure. However, ADMIXTURE runs considerably faster, solving problems in minutes that take structure hours. In many of our experiments, we have found that ADMIXTURE is almost as fast as EIGENSTRAT. The runtime improvements of ADMIXTURE rely on a fast block relaxation scheme using sequential quadratic programming for block updates, coupled with a novel quasi-Newton acceleration of convergence. Our algorithm also runs faster and with greater accuracy than the implementation of an Expectation-Maximization (EM) algorithm incorporated in the program FRAPPE. Our simulations show that ADMIXTURE's maximum likelihood estimates of the underlying admixture coefficients and ancestral allele frequencies are as accurate as structure's Bayesian estimates. On real-world data sets, ADMIXTURE's estimates are directly comparable to those from structure and EIGENSTRAT. Taken together, our results show that ADMIXTURE's computational speed opens up the possibility of using a much larger set of markers in model-based ancestry estimation and that its estimates are suitable for use in correcting for population stratification in association studies.
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              A unified mixed-model method for association mapping that accounts for multiple levels of relatedness.

              As population structure can result in spurious associations, it has constrained the use of association studies in human and plant genetics. Association mapping, however, holds great promise if true signals of functional association can be separated from the vast number of false signals generated by population structure. We have developed a unified mixed-model approach to account for multiple levels of relatedness simultaneously as detected by random genetic markers. We applied this new approach to two samples: a family-based sample of 14 human families, for quantitative gene expression dissection, and a sample of 277 diverse maize inbred lines with complex familial relationships and population structure, for quantitative trait dissection. Our method demonstrates improved control of both type I and type II error rates over other methods. As this new method crosses the boundary between family-based and structured association samples, it provides a powerful complement to currently available methods for association mapping.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                New Phytologist
                New Phytol
                Wiley-Blackwell
                0028646X
                April 2017
                April 2017
                : 214
                : 1
                : 257-270
                Article
                10.1111/nph.14342
                27918076
                © 2017

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