Even if considerable progress has been achieved towards the understanding of natural variation in plant systems, the contribution of transcript abundance variation to phenotypic diversity remains unappreciated. Over the last decade, efforts to characterise the genome-wide expression variation in natural accessions, structured populations and hybrids have improved our knowledge of the contribution of non-coding polymorphisms to gene expression regulation. Moreover, new studies are helping to unravel the role of expression polymorphisms and their orchestrated performance. Recent advances involving classical linkage analysis, GWAS and improved eQTL mapping strategies will provide a greater resolution to determine the genetic variants shaping the broad diversity in plant systems.
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