Tools for Genetic Studies in Experimental Populations of Polyploids

P.M. Bourke, R.E. Voorrips, R.G.F. Visser, C.A. Maliepaard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

92 Citations (Scopus)


Polyploid organisms carry more than two copies of each chromosome, a condition rarely tolerated in animals but which occurs relatively frequently in the plant kingdom. One of the principal challenges faced by polyploid organisms is to evolve stable meiotic mechanisms to faithfully transmit genetic information to the next generation upon which the study of inheritance is based. In this review we look at the tools available to the research community to better understand polyploid inheritance, many of which have only recently been developed. Most of these tools are intended for experimental populations (rather than natural populations), facilitating genomics-assisted crop improvement and plant breeding. This is hardly surprising given that a large proportion of domesticated
plant species are polyploid. We focus on three main areas: (1) polyploid genotyping; (2) genetic and physical mapping; and (3) quantitative trait analysis and genomic selection. We also briefly review some miscellaneous topics such as the mode of inheritance and the availability of polyploid simulation software. The current polyploid analytic toolbox includes software for assigning marker genotypes (and in particular, estimating the dosage of marker alleles in the heterozygous condition), establishing chromosome-scale linkage phase among marker alleles, constructing (short-range) haplotypes, generating linkage maps, performing genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and quantitative trait locus (QTL) analyses, and simulating polyploid populations. These tools can also
help elucidate the mode of inheritance (disomic, polysomic or a mixture of both
as in segmental allopolyploids) or reveal whether double reduction and multivalent chromosomal pairing occur. An increasing number of polyploids (or associated diploids) are being sequenced, leading to publicly available reference genome assemblies. Much work remains in order to keep pace with developments in genomic technologies. However, such technologies also offer the promise of understanding polyploid genomes at a level which hitherto has remained elusive.
Original languageEnglish
Article number513
JournalFrontiers in Plant Science
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2018


  • Allopolyploid
  • Autopolyploid
  • Polyploid genetics
  • Polyploid software tools
  • Segmental allopolyploid


Dive into the research topics of 'Tools for Genetic Studies in Experimental Populations of Polyploids'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this