Genome-wide association mapping of cadmium accumulation in different organs of barley

New Phytol. 2015 Nov;208(3):817-29. doi: 10.1111/nph.13512. Epub 2015 Jun 9.


The threshold value of cadmium (Cd) concentration in grains of barley (Hordeum vulgare) is the lowest among cereal crops; however, it is poorly understood how Cd accumulation in barley grain is genetically controlled. We investigated genotypic variation in Cd accumulation of different organs in 100 accessions from a subset of the barley core collection using both hydroponic and Cd-contaminated soil culture. We also performed a genome-wide association (GWA) mapping for Cd accumulation in different organs. A large genotypic variation in the Cd concentration was found in all organs. There was a good correlation between shoot Cd of solution and soil culture, the shoot Cd and grain Cd, but no correlation between the root Cd and grain Cd. GWA mapping detected 9 quantitative trait loci (QTL) for root Cd, 21 for shoot Cd, 14 for root-to-shoot translocation and 15 for grain Cd. A common QTL for the shoot Cd and root-to-shoot translocation was found at 132.6 cM on chromosome 5H. Two major QTL for grain Cd were identified on chromosome 2H and chromosome 5H. The genetic variation in Cd accumulation and major QTL detected provide useful information helpful for cloning candidate genes for Cd accumulation and breeding low-Cd barley cultivars in future.

Keywords: barley; cadmium (Cd); core collection; genome-wide association (GWA) mapping; genotypic difference; quantitative trait loci (QTL); straw.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Cadmium / metabolism*
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Genotype
  • Hordeum / genetics*
  • Hordeum / metabolism*
  • Plant Roots / metabolism
  • Plant Shoots / metabolism
  • Quantitative Trait Loci


  • Cadmium