Genome-wide association mapping has become a popular way of quantitative trait locus (QTL) identification for the majority of crop plants including wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Its advantage over classical bi-parental mapping methods relies on the size of linkage disequilibrium in the mapping population. The objectives of this study are to determine linkage disequilibrium decay rate and population structure in a winter wheat population of 276 accessions which has been genotyped with the ILLUMINA infinium 90k chip and to identify markers associated with yield and its components, morphological, phenological, and drought tolerance-related traits.
Wheat is the world’s third most important food crop next to maize and rice, (Green et al., 2012). It accounts for one-fifth of total production among major cereal crops and provides 55 % of the carbohydrates consumed by humans around the world (Bagge et al., 2007). However, wheat productivity is threatened by both biotic and abiotic stresses and its potential yield is rarely achieved. Crop resistance to both biotic and abiotic stresses, including drought has been successfully improved by plant breeding through phenotypic selection (Cooper et al., 2009). However, there is a large yield gap between drought prone areas and ideal production regions for most crops, including wheat. Drought tolerance is a complex quantitative trait controlled by multiple genes (Mir et al., 2012). It is also complicated by the fact that