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Genetic analysis of developmental and adaptive traits in three doubled haploid populations of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)


Key message

Study of three interconnected populations identified 13 maturity QTL of which eight collocate with phenology genes, and 18 QTL for traits associated with adaptation to drought-prone environments.


QTL for maturity and other adaptive traits affecting barley adaptation were mapped in a drought-prone environment. Three interconnected doubled haploid (DH) populations were developed from inter-crossing three Australian elite genotypes (Commander, Fleet and WI4304). High-density genetic maps were constructed using genotyping by sequencing and single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) for major phenology genes controlling photoperiod response and vernalization requirement. Field trials were conducted on the three DH populations in six environments at three sites in southern Australia and over two cropping seasons. Phenotypic evaluations were done for maturity, early vigour, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and leaf chlorophyll content (SPAD), leaf waxiness and leaf rolling. Thirteen maturity QTL were identified, all with significant QTL × environment interaction with one exception. Eighteen QTL were detected for other adaptive traits across the three populations, including three QTL for leaf rolling, six for leaf waxiness, three for early vigour, four for NDVI, and two QTL for SPAD. The three interlinked populations with high-density linkage maps described in this study are a significant resource for examining the genetic basis for barley adaptation in low-to-medium rainfall Mediterranean type environments.

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The authors would like to thank Anthony Smith, Donna Marks and the Barley Program team, University of Adelaide, and Davis Leigh from Minnipa Agricultural Research Centre for providing unreserved assistance for the successful completion of the field trials. We also thank Daniel Carrocci, Florian Krimpzer and Thanh Phuoc Le for assisting in the SNP genotyping. This work is partially funded by the South Australia Grain Industry Trust Fund (SAGIT, UA 1202), Australian Research Council (ARC), Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC), the South Australian Government, the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, and The University of Adelaide.

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Correspondence to Delphine Fleury.

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Communicated by T. Komatsuda.

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Obsa, B.T., Eglinton, J., Coventry, S. et al. Genetic analysis of developmental and adaptive traits in three doubled haploid populations of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Theor Appl Genet 129, 1139–1151 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00122-016-2689-z

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  • Quantitative Trait Locus
  • Normalize Difference Vegetation Index
  • Double Haploid
  • Leaf Rolling
  • Double Haploid Population