The Genome-Wide Association Studies approach was used to detect Quantitative Trait Loci associated with tocochromanol concentrations using a panel of 1,466 barley accessions. All major tocochromanol types-α-, β-, δ-, γ-tocopherol and tocotrienol-were assayed. We found 13 single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with the concentration of one or more of these tocochromanol forms in barley, seven of which were within 2 cM of sequences homologous to cloned genes associated with tocochromanol production in barley and/or other plants. These associations confirmed a prior report based on bi-parental QTL mapping. This knowledge will aid future efforts to better understand the role of tocochromanols in barley, with specific reference to abiotic stress resistance. It will also be useful in developing barley varieties with higher tocochromanol concentrations, although at current recommended daily consumption amounts, barley would not be an effective sole source of vitamin E. However, it could be an important contributor in the context of whole grains in a balanced diet.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This project was supported by USDA-NIFA TCAP Project No. 2011-68002-30029, and USDA-NIFA Collaborative Project No. 2013-31100-06041. Also, we would like to thank Dr. Maria Muñoz-Amatriaín for assistance in verifying details for each SNP marker, and Dr. Bill Thomas for his guidance and helpful edits for this paper.