Genetic architecture of quantitative trait loci associated with morphological and agronomic trait differences in a wild by cultivated barley cross

Genome. 2007 Aug;50(8):714-23. doi: 10.1139/g07-054.


Hordeum vulgare subsp. spontaneum is the progenitor of cultivated barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Domestication combined with plant breeding has led to the morphological and agronomic characteristics of modern barley cultivars. The objective of this study was to map the genetic factors that morphologically and agronomically differentiate wild barley from modern barley cultivars. To address this objective, we identified quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with plant height, flag leaf width, spike length, spike width, glume length in relation to seed length, awn length, fragility of ear rachis, endosperm width and groove depth, heading date, flag leaf length, number of tillers per plant, and kernel color in a Harrington/OUH602 advanced backcross (BC2F8) population. This population was genotyped with 113 simple sequence repeat markers. Thirty QTLs were identified, of which 16 were newly identified in this study. One to 4 QTLs were identified for each of the traits except glume length, for which no QTL was detected. The portion of phenotypic variation accounted for by individual QTLs ranged from about 9% to 54%. For traits with more than one QTL, the phenotypic variation explained ranged from 25% to 71%. Taken together, our results reveal the genetic architecture of morphological and agronomic traits that differentiate wild from cultivated barley.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant
  • Crops, Agricultural / genetics*
  • Crosses, Genetic*
  • DNA, Plant / genetics
  • DNA, Plant / isolation & purification
  • Genetic Markers
  • Genotype
  • Hordeum / genetics*
  • Microsatellite Repeats
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*


  • DNA, Plant
  • Genetic Markers