Multi-parent populations in crops: a toolbox integrating genomics and genetic mapping with breeding

Scott, M F and Ladejobi, O and Amer, S and Bentley, A R and Biernaskie, J and Boden, S A and Clark, M and Dell’Acqua, M and Dixon, L E and Filippi, C V and Fradgley, N and Gardner, K A and Mackay, I J and O’Sullivan, D and Percival-Alwyn, L and Roorkiwal, M and Singh, R K and Thudi, M and Varshney, R K and Venturini, L and Whan, A and Cockram, J and Mott, R (2020) Multi-parent populations in crops: a toolbox integrating genomics and genetic mapping with breeding. Heredity (TSI). ISSN 0018-067X

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Crop populations derived from experimental crosses enable the genetic dissection of complex traits and support modern plant breeding. Among these, multi-parent populations now play a central role. By mixing and recombining the genomes of multiple founders, multi-parent populations combine many commonly sought beneficial properties of genetic mapping populations. For example, they have high power and resolution for mapping quantitative trait loci, high genetic diversity and minimal population structure. Many multi-parent populations have been constructed in crop species, and their inbred germplasm and associated phenotypic and genotypic data serve as enduring resources. Their utility has grown from being a tool for mapping quantitative trait loci to a means of providing germplasm for breeding programmes. Genomics approaches, including de novo genome assemblies and gene annotations for the population founders, have allowed the imputation of rich sequence information into the descendent population, expanding the breadth of research and breeding applications of multi-parent populations. Here, we report recent successes from crop multi-parent populations in crops. We also propose an ideal genotypic, phenotypic and germplasm ‘package’ that multi-parent populations should feature to optimise their use as powerful community resources for crop research, development and breeding.

Item Type: Article
Divisions: Research Program : Genetic Gains
Uncontrolled Keywords: Genetics, Genomics, Breeding
Subjects: Others > Plant Breeding
Others > Genetics and Genomics
Depositing User: Mr Arun S
Date Deposited: 09 Aug 2020 08:58
Last Modified: 09 Aug 2020 08:58
Official URL:
Funders: Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Rank Prize Fund’s New Lecturer Award, Generation Challenge Program (GCP), IRRI core fund, NPCyT 2017 2634, 2523 and CABANA project—BBSRC (BB/P027849/1)
Acknowledgement: We would like to thank all attendees of the workshop on Advances in Multi-Parent Populations Research, who contributed to the discussions that inspired this manuscript: John Baison, Chellapilla Bharadwaj, Martin Boer, Rowena Downie, Gina Garzon, Luciano Henrique Braz dos Santos, Wenhao Li, Swarmy Mallikarjuna, Maria Oszvald, Renata Pereira da Cruz, Rajiv Sharma, Narendra Pratap Singh, Shang Qian Xie, Chin Jian Yang. We particularly thank Karl Broman for helpful feedback.
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