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Investigation of genetic diversity and population structure of common wheat cultivars in northern China using DArT markers

LiYi Zhang12, DongCheng Liu1, XiaoLi Guo3, WenLong Yang1, JiaZhu Sun1, DaoWen Wang1, Pierre Sourdille4 and AiMin Zhang1*

Author Affiliations

1 The State Key Laboratory of Plant Cell and Chromosome Engineering, Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

2 Guizhou Institute of Dryland Crops, Guizhou Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Guiyang, China

3 College of Biological Sciences, China Agricultural University, Beijing, China

4 UMR INRA-UBP Amélioration et Santé des Plantes, Clermont-Ferrand Cedex 2, France

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BMC Genetics 2011, 12:42  doi:10.1186/1471-2156-12-42

Published: 11 May 2011



In order to help establish heterotic groups of Chinese northern wheat cultivars (lines), Diversity arrays technology (DArT) markers were used to investigate the genetic diversity and population structure of Chinese common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.).


In total, 1637 of 7000 DArT markers were polymorphic and scored with high confidence among a collection of 111 lines composed mostly of cultivars and breeding lines from northern China. The polymorphism information content (PIC) of DArT markers ranged from 0.03 to 0.50, with an average of 0.40, with P > 80 (reliable markers). With principal-coordinates analysis (PCoA) of DArT data either from the whole genome or from the B-genome alone, all lines fell into one of two major groups reflecting 1RS/1BL type (1RS/1BL and non-1RS/1BL). Evidence of geographic clustering of genotypes was also observed using DArT markers from the A genome. Cluster analysis based on the unweighted pair-group method with algorithmic mean suggested the existence of two subgroups within the non-1RS/1BL group and four subgroups within the 1RS/1BL group. Furthermore, analysis of molecular variance (AMOVA) revealed highly significant (P < 0.001) genetic variance within and among subgroups and among groups.


These results provide valuable information for selecting crossing parents and establishing heterotic groups in the Chinese wheat-breeding program.