Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) has emerged as a useful genomic approach for sampling genome-wide genetic variation, performing genome-wide association mapping, and conducting genomic selection. It is a combined one-step process of SNP marker discovery and genotyping through genome reduction with restriction enzymes and SNP calling with or without a sequenced genome. This approach has the advantage of being rapid, high throughput, cost effective, and applicable to organisms without sequenced genomes. It has been increasingly applied to generate SNP genotype data for plant genetic and genomic studies. To facilitate a wider GBS application, particularly in oat genetic and genomic research, we describe the GBS approach, review the current applications of GBS in plant species, and highlight some applications of GBS to oat research. We also discuss issues in various applications of GBS and provide some perspectives in GBS research. Recent developments of bioinformatics pipelines in high-quality SNP discovery for polyploid crops will enhance the application of GBS to oat genetic and genomic research.