Mace ES, Jordan DR
Major effect genes are often used for germplasm identification, for diversity analyses and as selection targets in breeding. To date, only a few morphological characters have been mapped as major effect genes across a range of genetic linkage maps based on different types of molecular markers in sorghum (Sorghum bicolor (L.) Moench). This study aims to integrate all available previously mapped major effect genes onto a complete genome map, linked to the whole genome sequence, allowing sorghum breeders and researchers to link this information to QTL studies and to be aware of the consequences of selection for major genes. This provides new opportunities for breeders to take advantage of readily scorable morphological traits and to develop more effective breeding strategies. We also provide examples of the impact of selection for major effect genes on quantitative traits in sorghum. The concepts described in this paper have particular application to breeding programmes in developing countries where molecular markers are expensive or impossible to access.