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Advancements and Prospects of Genome-Wide Association Studies (GWAS) in Maize

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have emerged as a powerful tool for unraveling intricate genotype-phenotype association across various species. Maize (Zea mays L.), renowned for its extensive genetic diversity and rapid linkage disequilibrium (LD), stands as an exemplary candidate for GWAS. In maize, GWAS has made significant advancements by pinpointing numerous genetic loci and potential genes associated with complex traits, including responses to both abiotic and biotic stress

Javed Hussain SahitoHao ZhangZeeshan Ghulam Nabi GishkoriChenhui MaZhihao WangDong DingXuehai ZhangJihua Tang

Int J Mol Sci.; 2024 Feb 5; 25(3):1918. doi: 10.3390/ijms25031918.

Abstract

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have emerged as a powerful tool for unraveling intricate genotype-phenotype association across various species. Maize (Zea mays L.), renowned for its extensive genetic diversity and rapid linkage disequilibrium (LD), stands as an exemplary candidate for GWAS. In maize, GWAS has made significant advancements by pinpointing numerous genetic loci and potential genes associated with complex traits, including responses to both abiotic and biotic stress. These discoveries hold the promise of enhancing adaptability and yield through effective breeding strategies. Nevertheless, the impact of environmental stress on crop growth and yield is evident in various agronomic traits. Therefore, understanding the complex genetic basis of these traits becomes paramount. This review delves into current and future prospectives aimed at yield, quality, and environmental stress resilience in maize and also addresses the challenges encountered during genomic selection and molecular breeding, all facilitated by the utilization of GWAS. Furthermore, the integration of omics, including genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics, epigenomics, and phenomics has enriched our understanding of intricate traits in maize, thereby enhancing environmental stress tolerance and boosting maize production. Collectively, these insights not only advance our understanding of the genetic mechanism regulating complex traits but also propel the utilization of marker-assisted selection in maize molecular breeding programs, where GWAS plays a pivotal role. Therefore, GWAS provides robust support for delving into the genetic mechanism underlying complex traits in maize and enhancing breeding strategies.

 

See https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/38339196/

 

Figure 1: General difference between QTL mapping and GWAS.

 

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