Identification and verification of QTLs for agronomic traits using wild barley introgression lines

Theor Appl Genet. 2009 Feb;118(3):483-97. doi: 10.1007/s00122-008-0915-z. Epub 2008 Nov 1.


A set of 39 wild barley introgression lines (hereafter abbreviated with S42ILs) was subjected to a QTL study to verify genetic effects for agronomic traits, previously detected in the BC2DH population S42 (von Korff et al. 2006 in Theor Appl Genet 112:1221-1231) and, in addition, to identify new QTLs and favorable wild barley alleles. Each line within the S42IL set contains a single marker-defined chromosomal introgression from wild barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum), whereas the remaining part of the genome is exclusively derived from elite spring barley (H. vulgare ssp. vulgare). Agronomic field data of the S42ILs were collected for seven traits from three different environments during the 2007 growing season. For detection of putative QTLs, a two-factorial mixed model ANOVA and, subsequently, a Dunnett test with the recurrent parent as a control were conducted. The presence of a QTL effect on a wild barley introgression was accepted, if the trait value of a particular S42IL was significantly (P<0.05) different from the control, either across all environments and/or in a particular environment. A total of 47 QTLs were localized in the S42IL set, among which 39 QTLs were significant across all tested environments. For 19 QTLs (40.4%), the wild barley introgression was associated with a favorable effect on trait performance. Von Korff et al. (2006 in Theor Appl Genet 112:1221-1231) mapped altogether 44 QTLs for six agronomic traits to genomic regions, which are represented by wild barley introgressions of the S42IL set. Here, 18 QTLs (40.9%) revealed a favorable wild barley effect on the trait performance. By means of the S42ILs, 20 out of the 44 QTLs (45.5%) and ten out of the 18 favorable effects (55.6%) were verified. Most QTL effects were confirmed for the traits days until heading and plant height. For the six corresponding traits, a total of 17 new QTLs were identified, where at six QTLs (35.3%) the exotic introgression caused an improved trait performance. In addition, eight QTLs for the newly studied trait grains per ear were detected. Here, no QTL from wild barley exhibited a favorable effect. The introgression line S42IL-107, which carries an introgression on chromosome 2H, 17-42 cM is an example for S42ILs carrying several QTL effects simultaneously. This line exhibited improved performance across all tested environments for the traits days until heading, plant height and thousand grain weight. The line can be directly used to transfer valuable Hsp alleles into modern elite cultivars, and, thus, for breeding of improved varieties.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant
  • Hordeum / genetics*
  • Hordeum / growth & development*
  • Inbreeding
  • Phenotype
  • Quantitative Trait Loci*