Characterization of Hulled and Hulless Winter Barley, Hordeum vulgare L., Through Traditional Breeding and Molecular Techniques
Berger, Gregory Lawrence
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Phenotypic and genotypic characterization of hulled and hulless winter barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is necessary for improvement using traditional and molecular breeding techniques. Identification of genomic regions conferring resistance to Fusarium head blight (caused by Fusarium graminearum), leaf rust (caused by Puccinia hordei G. Otth), powdery mildew [caused by Blumeria graminis (DC.) E.O. Speer f. sp. hordei Em. Marchal], net blotch (caused by Pyrenophora teres) and spot blotch [caused by Cochliobolus sativus (Ito & Kuribayashi) Drechsler ex Dastur] will greatly aid in breeding for improved resistance. Determining factors that contribute to yield differences between hulled and hulless genotypes, and identification of markers associated with yield and yield related traits will greatly aid in improvement of hulled and hulless genotypes. The hulled cultivar Nomini, hulless cultivar Eve, and hulless line VA06H-48 were consistently resistant to Fusarium head blight (FHB) and had low deoxynivalenol (DON) accumulation. Screening with molecular markers on chromosomes 2H and 6H for FHB and DON identified quantitative trait loci (QTL) which may confer resistance in Virginia Tech germplasm. Evaluation of hulled and hulless full-sibs from four populations indicated that grain volume weight and protein concentration were significantly (P d 0.05) higher for hulless genotypes, while seedling emergence and grain ash concentration were significantly (P d 0.05) higher for hulled genotypes. In linear regression analysis, none of the assessed traits explained yield variation in all populations and environments. Identification of hulless genotypes having yield potentials similar to those of their hulled sibs should be possible after adjusting for hull weight. A genome wide association study was used to identify chromosome regions governing traits of importance in six-rowed winter barley germplasm and to identify single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) markers for use in a marker-assisted breeding program. Significant SNPs associated with previously described QTL or genes were identified for heading date, test weight, yield, grain protein, polyphenol oxidase activity, and resistance to leaf rust, powdery mildew, net blotch, and spot blotch. Novel QTL also were identified for agronomic, quality, and disease resistance traits. These SNP-trait associations provide the opportunity to directly select for QTL contributing to multiple traits in breeding programs.
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