A renewed interest in breeding barley specifically for food end-uses is being driven by increased consumer interest in healthier foods. We conducted association mapping on physicochemical properties of barley that play a role in food quality and processing including grain hardness, polyphenol oxidase activity, total phenolics, amylose content, and β-glucan. We used 3,069 elite two-row and six-row spring barley breeding lines from eight US breeding programs and 2,041 SNP markers for association mapping. Marker–trait associations were identified using a mixed model that incorporated population structure and kinship. We detected two previously identified QTL for grain hardness on chromosome 2H in the telomeric region of 5H along with two novel regions on 4H and 6H. For amylose content, we detected marker–trait associations on 7H from 0.63 to 30 cM. We detected four regions on chromosomes 1H, 2H, 3H, and 4H associated with polyphenol oxidase activity. The chromosome 2H region co-localized with the two previously mapped polyphenol oxidase genes PPO1 and PPO2, and the regions on chromosomes 1H, 3H, and 4H QTL were novel. For total phenolics, we identified three significant regions on 3H, 4H, and 5H. Two regions on 2H and 7H were associated with β-glucan. Both previously identified and novel QTL are segregating in elite US breeding germplasm. Only three of the 24 SNPs that were associated with traits using either the two-row or six-row mapping panel were identified in both panels. Nine SNPs were detected in the individual two-row or six-row panels that were not detected in the analysis using the complete panel and accounting for population structure. The distribution of favorable alleles at these loci that underpin food quality across the breeding programs suggests several strategies to use markers to improve barley for food uses.
- Association genetics
- Food quality