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Genome‐wide association studies of important agronomic traits in Brassica napus: what we have learned and where we are headed

Liu, H., Wang, W., Yang, M., Yuan, P., Hammond, J. P. ORCID:, King, G. J., Ding, G., White, P. J., Wang, S., Cai, H., Wang, C., Lu, C., Xu, F. and Shi, L. (2022) Genome‐wide association studies of important agronomic traits in Brassica napus: what we have learned and where we are headed. Annual Plant Reviews online, 5 (2). pp. 151-180. ISSN 2639-3832

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1002/9781119312994.apr0801


Oilseed rape (Brassica napus L.; B. napus) is one of the main oil crops in China as well as in the world. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) have revolutionised the field of complex agronomic traits. In B. napus, these include seed yield and yield-related traits, seed oil content, and abiotic and biotic stress-tolerance traits over the past decade in which hundreds of thousands to millions of genetic variants across the genomes of hundreds of individuals have been tested to identify genotype–phenotype associations. In this review, we assess the current status of GWAS in terms of genotypes, phenotypes, statistical models, and candidate genes for these agronomic traits in B. napus. Post-GWAS, the combination of QTL mapping, transcriptomics, and new statistical methods, has allowed us to identify candidate genes associated with specific agronomic traits. In addition, we can use diverse populations, increase the population size, or look for rare variants and structural variations of B. napus by whole-genome sequencing to minimise the ‘missing heritability’ effects. These approaches are essential for uncovering the genetic mechanisms defining or regulating complex agronomic traits and the delivery of molecular marker-assisted breeding in B. napus to breed new varieties that are higher yielding but resilient to our changing climate.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:105676
Publisher Statement:This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: 'Genome-Wide Association Studies of Important Agronomic Traits in Brassica napus: What We Have Learned and Where We Are Headed', which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.


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