Genebank genomics highlights the diversity of a global barley collection

Sara G. Milner, Matthias Jost, Shin Taketa, Elena Rey Mazón, Axel Himmelbach, Markus Oppermann, Stephan Weise, Helmut Knüpffer, Martín Basterrechea, Patrick König, Danuta Schüler, Rajiv Sharma, Raj K. Pasam, Twan Rutten, Ganggang Guo, Dongdong Xu, Jing Zhang, Gerhard Herren, Thomas Müller, Simon G. KrattingerBeat Keller, Yong Jiang, Maria Y González, Yusheng Zhao, Antje Habekuß, Sandra Färber, Frank Ordon, Matthias Lange, Andreas Börner, Andreas Graner, Jochen C. Reif, Uwe Scholz, Martin Mascher (Lead / Corresponding author), Nils Stein (Lead / Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

261 Citations (Scopus)


Genebanks hold comprehensive collections of cultivars, landraces and crop wild relatives of all major food crops, but their detailed characterization has so far been limited to sparse core sets. The analysis of genome-wide genotyping-by-sequencing data for almost all barley accessions of the German ex situ genebank provides insights into the global population structure of domesticated barley and points out redundancies and coverage gaps in one of the world's major genebanks. Our large sample size and dense marker data afford great power for genome-wide association scans. We detect known and novel loci underlying morphological traits differentiating barley genepools, find evidence for convergent selection for barbless awns in barley and rice and show that a major-effect resistance locus conferring resistance to bymovirus infection has been favored by traditional farmers. This study outlines future directions for genomics-assisted genebank management and the utilization of germplasm collections for linking natural variation to human selection during crop evolution.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)319-326
Number of pages8
JournalNature Genetics
Early online date12 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Crops, Agricultural/genetics
  • Genetic Variation/genetics
  • Genomics/methods
  • Genotype
  • Hordeum/genetics
  • Oryza/genetics
  • Phenotype
  • Polymorphism, Single Nucleotide/genetics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Genetics


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