Monday, 6 October 2008
George R. Brown Convention Center, Exhibit Hall E
There is tremendous interest in using association mapping to identify genes responsible for quantitative variation of complex traits with agricultural and evolutionary importance. Recent advances in genomic technology, impetus to exploit natural diversity, and development of robust statistical analysis methods make association mapping appealing and affordable to plant research programs. Association mapping identifies quantitative trait loci (QTLs) by examining the marker-trait associations due to the strength of linkage disequilibrium between markers and functional polymorphisms across a set of diverse germplasm. General understanding of association mapping has increased significantly since its debut in plants. We have seen a more concerted effort in assembling various association mapping populations and initiating experiments through either candidate-gene or genome-wide approaches in different plant species. We describe the current status of association mapping in plants and outline opportunities and challenges in complex trait dissection and genomics-assisted crop improvement.