5 years ago

QTL mapping of root traits in phosphorus-deficient soils reveals important genomic regions for improving NDVI and grain yield in barley

Glenn McDonald, Xue Gong


Key message

Major QTLs for root rhizosheath size are not correlated with grain yield or yield response to phosphorus. Important QTLs were found to improve phosphorus efficiency.


Root traits are important for phosphorus (P) acquisition, but they are often difficult to characterize and their breeding values are seldom assessed under field conditions. This has shed doubts on using seedling-based criteria of root traits to select and breed for P efficiency. Eight root traits were assessed under controlled conditions in a barley doubled-haploid population in soils differing in P levels. The population was also phenotyped for grain yield, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), grain P uptake and P utilization efficiency at maturity (PutEGY) under field conditions. Several quantitative traits loci (QTLs) from the root screening and the field trials were co-incident. QTLs for root rhizosheath size and root diameter explained the highest phenotypic variation in comparison to QTLs for other root traits. Shared QTLs were found between root diameter and grain yield, and total root length and PutEGY. A common major QTL for rhizosheath size and NDVI was mapped to the HvMATE gene marker on chromosome 4H. Collocations between major QTLs for NDVI and grain yield were detected on chromosomes 6H and 7H. When results from BIP and MET were combined, QTLs detected for grain yield were also those QTLs found for NDVI. QTLs qGY5H, qGY6H and qGY7Hb on 7H were robust QTLs in improving P efficiency. A selection of multiple loci may be needed to optimize the breeding outcomes due to the QTL x Environment interaction. We suggest that rhizosheath size alone is not a reliable trait to predict P efficiency or grain yield.

Publisher URL: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00122-017-2931-3

DOI: 10.1007/s00122-017-2931-3

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