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J Appl Genet. 2014 Aug;55(3):295-305. doi: 10.1007/s13353-014-0214-0. Epub 2014 May 1.

Genome-wide association studies of agronomic and quality traits in a set of German winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivars using Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT).

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Federal Research Centre for Cultivated Plants, Institute for Resistance Research and Stress Tolerance, Julius Kühn Institute (JKI), Erwin-Baur-Str. 27, 06484, Quedlinburg, Germany,


A set of about 100 winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivars, comprising diverse and economically important German barley elite germplasm released during the last six decades, was previously genotypically characterized by single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) markers using the Illumina GoldenGate BeadArray Technology to detect associations with phenotypic data estimated in three-year field trials at 12 locations. In order to identify further associations and to obtain information on whether the marker type influences the outcome of association genetics studies, the set of winter barley cultivars was re-analyzed using Diversity Arrays Technology (DArT) markers. As with the analysis of the SNPs, only polymorphic markers present at an allele frequency >5% were included to detect associations in a mixed linear model (MLM) approach using the TASSEL software (P ≤ 0.001). The population structure and kinship matrix were estimated on 72 simple sequence repeats (SSRs) covering the whole barley genome. The respective average linkage disequilibrium (LD) analyzed with DArT markers was estimated at 5.73 cM. A total of 52 markers gave significant associations with at least one of the traits estimated which, therefore, may be suitable for marker-assisted breeding. In addition, by comparing the results to those generated using the Illumina GoldenGate BeadArray Technology, it turned out that a different number of associations for respective traits is detected, depending on the marker system. However, as only a few of the respective DArT and Illumina markers are present in a common map, no comprehensive comparison of the detected associations was feasible, but some were probably detected in the same chromosomal regions. Because of the identification of additional marker-trait associations, it may be recommended to use both marker techniques in genome-wide association studies.

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