Bridging the genotyping gap: using genotyping by sequencing (GBS) to add high-density SNP markers and new value to traditional bi-parental mapping and breeding populations

Theor Appl Genet. 2013 Nov;126(11):2699-716. doi: 10.1007/s00122-013-2166-x. Epub 2013 Aug 6.


Genotyping by sequencing (GBS) is the latest application of next-generation sequencing protocols for the purposes of discovering and genotyping SNPs in a variety of crop species and populations. Unlike other high-density genotyping technologies which have mainly been applied to general interest "reference" genomes, the low cost of GBS makes it an attractive means of saturating mapping and breeding populations with a high density of SNP markers. One barrier to the widespread use of GBS has been the difficulty of the bioinformatics analysis as the approach is accompanied by a high number of erroneous SNP calls which are not easily diagnosed or corrected. In this study, we use a 384-plex GBS protocol to add 30,984 markers to an indica (IR64) × japonica (Azucena) mapping population consisting of 176 recombinant inbred lines of rice (Oryza sativa) and we release our imputation and error correction pipeline to address initial GBS data sparsity and error, and streamline the process of adding SNPs to RIL populations. Using the final imputed and corrected dataset of 30,984 markers, we were able to map recombination hot and cold spots and regions of segregation distortion across the genome with a high degree of accuracy, thus identifying regions of the genome containing putative sterility loci. We mapped QTL for leaf width and aluminum tolerance, and were able to identify additional QTL for both phenotypes when using the full set of 30,984 SNPs that were not identified using a subset of only 1,464 SNPs, including a previously unreported QTL for aluminum tolerance located directly within a recombination hotspot on chromosome 1. These results suggest that adding a high density of SNP markers to a mapping or breeding population through GBS has a great value for numerous applications in rice breeding and genetics research.

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological / drug effects
  • Adaptation, Physiological / genetics
  • Aluminum / toxicity
  • Breeding*
  • Chromosome Breakage
  • Chromosome Mapping / methods*
  • Chromosome Segregation / genetics
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genotyping Techniques / methods*
  • Oryza / genetics*
  • Plant Leaves / anatomy & histology
  • Plant Leaves / drug effects
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide / genetics*
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / genetics
  • Recombination, Genetic / genetics
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA / methods*


  • Genetic Markers
  • Aluminum