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Molecular and phenotypic characterization of the alternative seasonal growth habit and flowering time in barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp. vulgare L.)

Cockram, J., Horsnell, R., Soh, E.-h., Norris, C. and O'Sullivan, D. (2015) Molecular and phenotypic characterization of the alternative seasonal growth habit and flowering time in barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp. vulgare L.). Molecular Breeding, 35 (8). 165. ISSN 1380-3743

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1007/s11032-015-0359-5


Barley can be classified into three major agronomic types, based on its seasonal growth habit (SGH): spring, winter and alternative. Winter varieties require exposure to vernalization to promote subsequent flowering and are autumn-sown. Spring varieties proceed to flowering in the absence of vernalization and are sown in the spring. The ‘alternative’ (also known as ‘facultative’) SGH is only loosely defined and can be sown in autumn or spring. Here, we investigate the molecular genetic basis of alternative barley. Analysis of the major barley vernalization (VRN-H1, VRN-H2) and photoperiod (PPD-H1, PPD-H2) response genes in a collection of 386 varieties found alternative SGH to be characterized by specific allelic combinations. Spring varieties possessed spring loci at one or both of the vernalization response loci, combined with long-day non-responsive ppd-H1 alleles and wild-type alleles at the short-day photoperiod response locus, PPD-H2. Winter varieties possessed winter alleles at both vernalization loci, in combination with the mutant ppd-H2 allele conferring delayed flowering under short-day photoperiods. In contrast, all alternative varieties investigated possessed a single spring allele (either at VRN-H1 or at VRN-H2) combined with mutant ppd-H2 alleles. This allelic combination is found only in alternative types and is diagnostic for alternative SGH in the collection studied. Analysis of flowering time under controlled environment found alternative varieties flowered later than spring control lines, with the difference most pronounced under short-day photoperiods. This work provides genetic characterization of the alternative SGH phenotype, allowing precise manipulation of SGH and flowering time within breeding programmes, and provides the molecular tools for classification of all three SGH categories within national variety registration processes.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Centre for Food Security
Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of Crop Science
ID Code:41237
Publisher:Springer Verlag


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