Detection of QTLs controlling alpha-amylase activity in a diversity panel of 343 barley accessions

Kazuhiro Sato, Hiroshi Hisano, Satoko Matsumoto, Tian Su Zhou, Makoto Kihara

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


The α–amylase activity of cultivated barley is critically important to the brewing industry. Here, we surveyed variation in malt α–amylase activity in 343 cultivated barley accessions from around the world. Population structure analysis based on genotype data at 1536 SNPs clustered these accessions into two groups, one comprising South-East Asian and Ethiopian accessions and one group containing the other accessions. A genome-wide association study identified significant quantitative trait loci (QTLs) for α–amylase activity on all seven chromosomes of barley. Accessions showing high and low α–amylase activity were crossed with the high-quality Japanese malting barley cv. Harun Nijo to develop F2 mapping populations. We identified two QTLs on chromosome 6H in a cross between Haruna Nijo (high activity) × Weal (highest activity). Single QTLs were identified each on 3H, 4H, and 5H from a cross between Haruna Nijo (high activity) × VLB-1 (low activity), indicating that the high α–amylase activity in Haruna Nijo might be derived from loci on these chromosomes. The addition of the high α–amylase activity QTL alleles from chromosome 6H in cv. Weal further increased the α–amylase activity conferred by alleles of Haruna Nijo. These results demonstrate that a target haplotype can be successfully improved using a strategy comprising diversity analysis of ex situ collections followed by introducing effective new alleles.

Original languageEnglish
Article number14
JournalMolecular Breeding
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2018


  • Genome wide association study
  • Hordeum vlugare
  • QTL
  • SNP
  • α–amylase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Agronomy and Crop Science
  • Genetics
  • Plant Science


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