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01.08.2016 10:13
Mehraj Abbasov has been in a scientific visit at the North Dakota State University, Fargo, USA

PhD, Deputy Director on Scientific Affairs  of Institute of Genetic Resources of Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences Mehraj Abbasov has been in a scientific visit at the North Dakota State University, Fargo, USA, from 01 August to 31 October, 2016 to conduct the research on the topic Evaluation of genetic diversity of Azerbaijani wheat, barley and their wild relatives using Next Generation.

Research was conducted under the supervision of the Professor Robert Brueggeman at the North Dakota University and was supported by the Fulbright Visiting Scholar Program of USA.

The goal and the results of the research: Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technology was applied to study genetic diversity of Azerbaijani wheat, barley and their wild relatives. For the first time, a new panel of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) primers has been developed for wheat genome. Within the framework of the program, the most up-to-date protocols on NGS technology have been adopted and a manual has been prepared in the Azerbaijani language. In addition to wheat, genetic identification of 86 wild and 85 cultivated barley accessions of Azerbaijan origin was performed using a panel of 365 SNPs developed by the Genomics Laboratory of North Dakota University. Genetic diversity of Aegilops species was determined based on genotyping by sequencing (GBS) protocol. In collaboration with USDA laboratory, the research materials have been successfully screened using SSR and KASP genotyping methods and significant results were obtained.         

For the first time: a) 830 SNP primer pairs (including 60 gene specific) covering wheat genome were designed and 170 diploid, 178 durum and 172 bread wheat accessions conserved in National Gene Bank were studied using amplicon sequencing method. One hundred sixty polymorphic markers were identified for A genome, 180 for B genome and 120 for D genome; b) 1250 SNPs were discovered in a set of 88 Aegilops accessions collected from Azerbaijan and Georgia using genotyping-by-sequencing; c) 178 bread wheat accessions from National Gene Bank of Azerbaijan ran across 11 gene specific KASP assays. As a result the presence of Lr34 gene in 16 and GluD1 gene in 31 accessions has been detected. One genotype possessed FHB gene located on chromosome 3 B, while 48 genotypes were identified to have FHB gene on chromosome 5 A. One accession of Azerbaijan origin was revealed to have a resistance gene to fusarium; d) genotyping of 86 wild (Hordeum spontaneum L.) and 85 cultivated barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) accessions was performed with a panel of 365 SNPs. A total of 780 SNPs were found among studied germplasm; e) a genome wide association mapping has been conducted on cultivated Azerbaijani barley accessions. Six new SNPs were identified to be significantly associated with yield components; f) using 11 SSR primers rich genetic diversity has been found in the diploid wheat collection, T. boeoticum and T. monococcum species were genetically closer to each another, while T. urartu was the most distant among studied species.

Application possibilities and significance of research results: Based on the findings of the research, the existence of rich biodiversity of wheat and barley in Azerbaijan has been proven and the role and application of this diversity in the creation of new varieties has been identified. SNP markers obtained through NGS technology will be used to create a core collection on wheat and barley conserved in the National Gene bank, which will further facilitate their direct use in breeding. The accessions with resistance genes will be used to create new disease resistant varieties.

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