The detection of QTLs in barley associated with endosperm hardness, grain density, grain size and malting quality using rapid phenotyping tools

Theor Appl Genet. 2013 Oct;126(10):2533-51. doi: 10.1007/s00122-013-2153-2. Epub 2013 Jul 25.


Using a barley mapping population, 'Vlamingh' × 'Buloke' (V × B), whole grain analyses were undertaken for physical seed traits and malting quality. Grain density and size were predicted by digital image analysis (DIA), while malt extract and protein content were predicted using near infrared (NIR) analysis. Validation of DIA and NIR algorithms confirmed that data for QTL analysis was highly correlated (R (2) > 0.82), with high RPD values (the ratio of the standard error of prediction to the standard deviation, 2.31-9.06). Endosperm hardness was measured on this mapping population using the single kernel characterisation system. Grain density and endosperm hardness were significantly inter-correlated in all three environments (r > 0.22, P < 0.001); however, other grain components were found to interact with the traits. QTL for these traits were also found on different genomic regions, for example, grain density QTLs were found on chromosomes 2H and 6H, whereas endosperm hardness QTLs were found on 1H, 5H, and 7H. In this study, the majority of the genomic regions associated with grain texture were also coincident with QTLs for grain size, yield, flowering date and/or plant development genes. This study highlights the complexity of genomic regions associated with the variation of endosperm hardness and grain density, and their relationships with grain size traits, agronomic-related traits, and plant development loci.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Chromosome Mapping
  • Chromosomes, Plant / genetics
  • Endosperm / genetics*
  • Genes, Plant / genetics
  • Genetic Techniques*
  • Hardness
  • Hordeum / genetics*
  • Phenotype
  • Quantitative Trait Loci / genetics*
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Seeds / anatomy & histology*
  • Seeds / genetics*