A multiparent advanced generation inter-cross population for genetic analysis in wheat
We present the first results from a novel multiparent advanced generation inter-cross (MAGIC) population derived from four elite wheat cultivars. The large size of this MAGIC population (1579 progeny), its diverse genetic composition and high levels of recombination all contribute to its value as a genetic resource. Applications of this resource include interrogation of the wheat genome and the analysis of gene–trait association in agronomically important wheat phenotypes. Here, we report the utilization of a MAGIC population for the first time for linkage map construction. We have constructed a linkage map with 1162 DArT, single nucleotide polymorphism and simple sequence repeat markers distributed across all 21 chromosomes. We benchmark this map against a high-density DArT consensus map created by integrating more than 100 biparental populations. The linkage map forms the basis for further exploration of the genetic architecture within the population, including characterization of linkage disequilibrium, founder contribution and inclusion of an alien introgression into the genetic map. Finally, we demonstrate the application of the resource for quantitative trait loci mapping using the complex traits plant height and hectolitre weight as a proof of principle.