Genetic mapping populations for conducting high-resolution trait mapping in plants

James Cockram, Ian Mackay*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

57 Citations (Scopus)


Fine mapping of quantitative trait loci (QTL) is the route to more detailed molecular characterization and functional studies of the relationship between polymorphism and trait variation. It is also of direct relevance to breeding since it makes QTL more easily integrated into marker-assisted breeding and into genomic selection. Fine mapping requires that marker-trait associations are tested in populations in which large numbers of recombinations have occurred. This can be achieved by increasing the size of mapping populations or by increasing the number of generations of crossing required to create the population. We review the factors affecting the precision and power of fine mapping experiments and describe some contemporary experimental approaches, focusing on the use of multi-parental or multi-founder populations such as the multi-parent advanced generation intercross (MAGIC) and nested association mapping (NAM). We favor approaches such as MAGIC since these focus explicitly on increasing the amount of recombination that occurs within the population. Whatever approaches are used, we believe the days of mapping QTL in small populations must come to an end. In our own work in MAGIC wheat populations, we started with a target of developing 1,000 lines per population: that number now looks to be on the low side.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAdvances in Biochemical Engineering/Biotechnology
EditorsRajeev Varshney, Manish Pandey, Annapurna Chitikineni
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-91312-4
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-91312-4
Publication statusFirst published - 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • QTL mapping
  • plant breeding


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