Improvement of Mineral Nutrition: A Source and Sink for Candidate Genes
Due to its widespread cultivation, barley is exposed to a diversity of soils and nutritional availabilities. Acidic soils limit the growth of barley as it is not particularly well adapted or bred for cultivation in such environments. Aluminium toxicity is a major hindrance for barley on acidic soils and forms an ideal target trait for biotechnological approaches. Conversely, barley is well adapted for growth on alkaline soils. Here barley uses phytosiderophores to acquire Fe from poorly available forms. It would be useful to transfer such a trait into other species less able to acquire Fe. We will review the literature relating to the improvement of the mineral nutrition of barley through the use of biotechnology. Additionally we highlight some aspects where barley is particularly well suited as a “trait donor” for other organisms. Using examples relating to biofortification and tolerance to mineral deficiency or elemental toxicity, we illustrate how barley is both a sink and a source of genes for biotechnological approaches.
KeywordsBiomass Zinc Toxicity Phosphorus Manganese
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