Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Sallam A, Alqudah AM, Baenziger PS and Rasheed A (2023), Editorial: Genetic validation and its role in crop improvement. Front. Genet. 13:1078246. doi: 10.3389/fgene.2022.1078246


Open access.


Gene discovery for economically important traits has remained a challenging Frontier in crop genomics and breeding. The recent advances in DNA sequencing technologies and genetic analysis approaches paved the way for discovering many genes and hotspot genomic regions controlling target traits. The detection of novel genomic regions or candidate genes is very useful for plant breeders and geneticists to improve crops, dissect the genetics of complex traits, and understand the biological mechanisms of genes underpinning traits of interest. Quantitative trait loci (QTL) mapping and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) dominated recent crop gene discovery research. These studies are becoming routine activities to discover the genetic basis of important phenotypes and result in underlying allelic variations, marker-traits associations, and frequency of favorable alleles in the target germplasm to help in understanding crop functional genomics (Rasheed and Xia 2019). However, the discovered loci need further validation before consideration to be used in breeding. In most GWAS cases, the outputs can be ambiguous due to problems of confounding population structure with low-frequency causal alleles leading to false-negative results and other unaccounted factors including low-accuracy genotype calls at some loci (Browning and Yu, 2009) and small population size (Finnoet al., 2014; Alqudah et al., 2020). Therefore, further validation is necessary, using cross-population approaches where candidate loci are either validated in bi-parental populations or independent germplasm collections (Finnoet al., 2014).