Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Journal of Advanced Research 22 (2020) 119–135


© 2019 The Authors.

Open access


Understanding the genetic complexity of traits is an important objective of small grain temperate cereals yield and adaptation improvements. Bi-parental quantitative trait loci (QTL) linkage mapping is a pow- erful method to identify genetic regions that co-segregate in the trait of interest within the research pop- ulation. However, recently, association or linkage disequilibrium (LD) mapping using a genome-wide association study (GWAS) became an approach for unraveling the molecular genetic basis underlying the natural phenotypic variation. Many causative allele(s)/loci have been identified using the power of this approach which had not been detected in QTL mapping populations. In barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), GWAS has been successfully applied to define the causative allele(s)/loci which can be used in the breeding crop for adaptation and yield improvement. This promising approach represents a tremendous step forward in genetic analysis and undoubtedly proved it is a valuable tool in the identification of can- didate genes. In this review, we describe the recently used approach for genetic analyses (linkage map- ping or association mapping), and then provide the basic genetic and statistical concepts of GWAS, and subsequently highlight the genetic discoveries using GWAS. The review explained how the candidate gene(s) can be detected using state-of-art bioinformatic tools.