A new major-effect QTL for waterlogging tolerance in wild barley (H. spontaneum)

Key message

We report the first study on the unique allele from wild barley that can improve waterlogging tolerance in cultivated barley with a substantially higher contribution to aerenchyma formation.


Waterlogging is one of the major abiotic stresses that dramatically reduce barley crop yield. Direct selection on waterlogging tolerance in the field is less effective due to its viability to environment. The most effective way of selection is to choose traits that make significant contributions to the overall tolerance and are easy to score. Aerenchyma formation under waterlogging stress is one of the most effective mechanisms to provide adequate oxygen supply and overcome stress-induced hypoxia imposed on plants. In this study, a new allele for aerenchyma formation was identified from a wild barley accession TAM407227 on chromosome 4H. Compared to that identified in cultivated barley, this allele not only produced a greater proportion of aerenchyma but made a greater contribution to the overall waterlogging tolerance. The QTL explained 76.8% of phenotypic variance in aerenchyma formation with a LOD value of 51.4. Markers co-segregating with the trait were identified and can be effectively used in marker assisted selection.

Category: Genetic diversity Breeding
Authors: Zang, X., et al.
Journal/Series: Theoretical and Applied Genetics
Publication Year: 2017

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