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Association genetics of UK elite barley

(AGOUEB)

Contact: James Cockram

This project takes advantage of several unique features of elite UK barleys to carry out association-genetics analysis to dissect the genetic control of those traits that are of agronomic and/or ecological importance to the future sustainability of the UK ’s crop production and environment. It involves the genotyping of 1000 elite barley lines with 3000 SNP marker loci developed from 1000-1500 genes (2-3 SNPs/gene). This genotype data will be analysed to determine the level and extent of linkage disequilibrium, haplotype structure and complicating factors such as population substructure and combined with assembled phenotypic data for economically important traits from the extant official trial and breeders’ data. This phenotypic data set will be supplemented by generation of novel phenotypic data by additional field and glasshouse studies which will be based on subsets of the lines and include in particular detailed characterisation of disease resistance and certain quality parameters in depth for malting, brewing and distilling.

The combined data sets will be used for the association of the genotypic and phenotypic data to determine the patterns of genetic control of qualitative and quantitative traits in barley. The analysis offers considerable challenges and will necessitate the development of novel theory and methods to predict the distribution of linkage disequilibrium structure and haplotype blocks in the barley genome, the combination of linkage disequilibrium and linkage analyses for high-resolution mapping and identification of quantitative trait loci in populations with and without genealogical information and the implementation of data-specific statistical methods and computational tools for full analysis.

Funding: BBSRC - LINK

Collaborating Organizations: Scottish Crop Research Institute, University of Birmingham, Brewing Research International, Calibre Control International Ltd, KWS UK Ltd, Coors Brewers Ltd, Home-Grown Cereals Authority, The Maltsters Association of Great Britain, Mylnefield Research Services Ltd, Syngenta Seeds Ltd, Nickerson (UK) Ltd, LS Plant Breeding (SERASEM), Secobra/Dalgety, Svalof Weibull AB, The Scotch Whisky Research Institute.