Genetic-geographic correlation revealed across a broad European ecotypic sample of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) using array-based SNP genotyping

Tina Blackmore, Ianto Thomas, Robert McMahon, Wayne Powell, Matthew Hegarty

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (SciVal)
138 Downloads (Pure)


Key message: Publically available SNP array increases the marker density for genotyping of forage crop,Lolium perenne. Applied to 90 European ecotypes composed of 716 individuals identifies a significant genetic–geographic correlation. Abstract: Grassland ecosystems are ubiquitous across temperate and tropical regions, totalling 37 % of the terrestrial land cover of the planet, and thus represent a global resource for understanding local adaptations to environment. However, genomic resources for grass species (outside cereals) are relatively poor. The advent of next-generation DNA sequencing and high-density SNP genotyping platforms enables the development of dense marker assays for population genetics analyses and genome-wide association studies. A high-density SNP marker resource (Illumina Infinium assay) for perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne) was created and validated in a broad ecotype collection of 716 individuals sampled from 90 sites across Europe. Genetic diversity within and between populations was assessed. A strong correlation of geographic origin to genetic structure was found using principal component analysis, with significant correlation to longitude and latitude (P < 0.001). The potential of this array as a resource for studies of germplasm diversity and identifying traits underpinning adaptive variation is highlighted.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1917-1932
Number of pages16
JournalTheoretical and Applied Genetics
Issue number10
Early online date21 Jun 2015
Publication statusPublished - 24 Oct 2015


  • DNA, Plant/genetics
  • Ecotype
  • Europe
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genetics, Population
  • Genotype
  • Genotyping Techniques
  • Geography
  • Lolium/genetics
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA


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