Bringing more players into play: Leveraging stress in genome wide association studies

Feng Zhu, Micha Wijesingha Ahchige, Yariv Brotman, Saleh Alseekh, Agustin Zsogon, Alisdair R. Fernie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In order to meet the demand of the burgeoning human population as well as to adapt crops to the enhanced abiotic and biotic stress caused by the global climatic change, breeders focus on identifying valuable genes to improve both crop stress tolerance and crop quality. Recently, with the development of next-generation sequencing methods, millions of high quality single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) have been made available and genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are widely used in crop improvement studies to identify the associations between genetic variants of genomes and relevant crop agronomic traits. Here, we review classic cases of use of GWAS to identify genetic variants associated with valuable traits such as geographic adaptation, crop quality and metabolites. We discuss the power of stress GWAS to identify further associations including those with genes that are not, or only lowly, expressed during optimal growth conditions. Finally, we emphasize recent demonstrations of the efficiency and accuracy of time-resolved dynamic stress GWAS and GWAS based on genomic gene expression and structural variations, which can be applied to resolve more comprehensively the genetic regulation mechanisms of complex traits.

Original languageEnglish
Article number153657
JournalJournal of Plant Physiology
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Physiology
  • Plant Science


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