Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 115, Issue 6, pp 837–847

Linkage disequilibrium in synthetic varieties of perennial ryegrass

Original Paper


Synthetic varieties obtained after three to four panmictic generations are variable, not structured and so can be used for association studies. The pattern of linkage disequilibrium (LD) decay determines whether a genome scan or a candidate gene approach can be used for an association study between genotype and phenotype. Our goal was to evaluate the effect of the number of parents used to build the synthetic varieties on the pattern of LD decay. LD was investigated in the gibberelic acid insensitive gene (GAI) region in three synthetic varieties of perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) chosen for their contrasted number of parents in the initial polycrosses. Results were compared with those obtained from a core collection. STS and SSR markers were used to evaluate variation, structuration and LD in each variety. As expected, the varieties variability increased with the number of parents almost up to the core collection variability. No structuration was observed in the varieties. Significant LDs were observed up to 1.6 Mb in a variety originated from six related parents and not above 174 kb in a variety originated from 336 parents. These results suggest that a candidate gene approach can be used when varieties have a large number of parents and a genome scan approach can be envisaged in specific regions when varieties have a low number of parents. Nevertheless, we strongly recommend to estimate the pattern of LD decay in the population and in the genomic region studied before performing an association study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.INRA, Unité de Génétique et d’Amélioration des Plantes FourragèresLusignanFrance

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