Xiu Yang1,2†, Binwen Tan1,2†, Haijiao Liu1,2, Wei Zhu1,2, Lili Xu1, Yi Wang1,2, Xing Fan1,2, Lina Sha1,2, Haiqin Zhang1,2, Jian Zeng3, Dandan Wu1,2, Yunfeng Jiang1,2, Xigui Hu4, Guoyue Chen1,2, Yonghong Zhou1,2 and Houyang Kang1,2*
Obtaining information on the genetic diversity and population structure of germplasm facilitates its use in wheat breeding programs. Recently, with the development of next-generation sequencing technology, genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) has been used as a high-throughput and cost-effective molecular tool for examination of the genetic diversity of wheat breeding lines. In this study, GBS was used to characterize a population of 180 accessions of common wheat originating from Asia and Europe between the latitudes 30° and 45°N. In total, 24,767 high-quality single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers were used for analysis of genetic diversity and population structure. The B genome contained the highest number of SNPs, followed by the A and D genomes. The polymorphism information content was in the range of 0.1 to 0.4, with a mean of 0.26. The distribution of SNPs markers on the 21 chromosomes ranged from 243 on chromosome 4D to 2,337 on chromosome 3B. Structure and cluster analyses divided the panel of accessions into two subgroups (G1 and G2). G1 principally consisted of European and partial Asian accessions, and G2 comprised mainly accessions from the Middle East and partial Asia. Molecular analysis of variance showed that the genetic variation was greater within groups (99%) than between groups (1%). Comparison of the two subgroups indicated that G1 and G2 contained a high level of genetic diversity. The genetic diversity of G2 was slightly higher as indicated by the observed heterozygosity (Ho) = 0.23, and unbiased diversity index (uh) = 0.34. The present results will not only help breeders to understand the genetic diversity of wheat germplasm on the Eurasian continent between the latitudes of 30° and 45°N, but also provide valuable information for wheat genetic improvement through introgression of novel genetic variation in this region.