Association mapping, a high-resolution method for mapping quantitative trait loci based on linkage disequilibrium, holds great promise for the dissection of complex genetic traits. The recent assembly and characterization of maize association mapping panels, development of improved statistical methods, and successful association of candidate genes have begun to realize the power of candidate-gene association mapping. Although the complexity of the maize genome poses several significant challenges to the application of association mapping, the ongoing genome sequencing project will ultimately allow for a thorough genome-wide examination of nucleotide polymorphism-trait association.
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