Targeted selection and inbreeding have resulted in a lack of genetic diversity in elite hexaploid bread wheat accessions. Reduced diversity can be a limiting factor in the breeding of high yielding varieties and crucially can mean reduced resilience in the face of changing climate and resource pressures. Recent technological advances have enabled the development of molecular markers for use in the assessment and utilisation of genetic diversity in hexaploid wheat. Starting with a large collection of 819,571 previously characterised wheat markers, here we describe the identification of 35,143 single nucleotide polymorphism-based markers, which are highly suited to the genotyping of elite hexaploid wheat accessions. To assess their suitability, the markers have been validated using a commercial high density Affymetrix Axiom® genotyping array (the Wheat Breeders’ Array), in a high throughput 384 microplate configuration, to characterise a diverse global collection of wheat accessions including landraces and elite lines derived from commercial breeding communities. We demonstrate that the Wheat Breeders’ Array is also suitable for generating high density genetic maps of previously uncharacterised populations and for characterising novel genetic diversity produced by mutagenesis. To facilitate the use of the array by the wheat community, the markers, the associated sequence and the genotype information have been made available through the interactive web site “CerealsDB”.
- genotyping array
- single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP)