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Research article2017Peer reviewedOpen access

Genetic diversity, population structure and linkage disequilibrium in Nordic spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L. subsp vulgare)

Bengtsson, Therese; Manninen, Outi; Jahoor, Ahmed; Orabi, Jihad


Genetic diversity, population structure and genome-wide linkage disequilibrium (LD) was estimated in Nordic spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L. subsp. vulgare) by genotyping 180 breeding lines with 48 SSR markers and 7842 high-confidence SNPs using the Illumina Infinium 9K assay. In total 6208 SNPs were polymorphic and selected for further statistical analysis. A Mantel test revealed a strong positive correlation with a Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) of 0.86, between the estimates of genetic distances based on SSR and SNP data. Population structure analysis identified two groups with a clear ancestry and one group with an admixed ancestry. The groups were primarily separated based on row-type and geographical origin. Average LD for the whole population decayed below a critical level of r(2) = 0.20 within a range of 0-4 cM. To avoid confounding effects of the strong population structure, LD decay for the different groups was analysed separately and ranged from 0 to 12 cM. A slower LD decay was found within the two-rowed lines compared to the six-rowed lines and the two-rowed lines originating from the northern part, which could be the result of strong selection for malting quality and yield in the southern part. No large difference in genetic diversity was observed between population sub-groups, but differences at certain chromosomal regions were evident.


Hordeum vulgare L.; Linkage disequilibrium; Microsatellites; Molecular markers; Plant breeding; SNP array

Published in

Genetic Resources and Crop Evolution
2017, Volume: 64, number: 8, pages: 2021-2033