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Correlation between NIRS generated and chemically measured feed quality data in barley (Hordeum vulgare), and potential use in QTL analysis identification

Gous, Peter W., Martin, Anke, Lawson, Wendy, Kelly, Alison, Fox, Glen P., Sutherland, Mark W.
Euphytica 2012 v.188 no.3 pp. 325-332
quantitative trait loci, proteins, rumen, barley, acid detergent fiber, Hordeum vulgare, chromosomes, cattle, genetic correlation, data collection, starch, near-infrared spectroscopy, digestibility
A study was performed to investigate the value of near infrared reflectance spectroscopy (NIRS) as an alternate method to analytical techniques for identifying QTL associated with feed quality traits. Milled samples from an F6—derived recombinant inbred Tallon/Scarlett population were incubated in the rumen of fistulated cattle, recovered, washed and dried to determine the in-situ dry matter digestibility (DMD). Both pre- and post-digestion samples were analysed using NIRS to quantify key quality components relating to acid detergent fibre, starch and protein. This phenotypic data was used to identify trait associated QTL and compare them to previously identified QTL. Though a number of genetic correlations were identified between the phenotypic data sets, the only correlation of most interest was between DMD and starch digested (r = −0.382). The significance of this genetic correlation was that the NIRS data set identified a putative QTL on chromosomes 7H (LOD = 3.3) associated with starch digested. A QTL for DMD occurred in the same region of chromosome 7H, with flanking markers fAG/CAT63 and bPb-0758. The significant correlation and identification of this putative QTL, highlights the potential of technologies like NIRS in QTL analysis.