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Barley genetics

Principal Investigator: Alek Choo (retired) and Raja Khanal

Research Institution: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Timeline: April 2013 – March 2018

Objectives:

  • Develop barley cultivars for high yield and FHB resistance.
  • Develop genetic biomarkers for selecting FHB resistance and desirable agronomic traits.
  • Explore beneficial micronutrients and the potential development of functional foods and nutraceuticals from barley.

Impacts:

  • Six new barley varieties, offering new disease resistance and higher yields, have been released to growers in eastern Canada.
  • A number of advanced breeding lines are now in development.
  • The project has formed the foundation for further research in marker assisted selection and molecular breeding and as such will deliver more cultivars to eastern Canadian growers and further advance barley breeding methods.

Scientific Summary:

Results:

Variety development

Six new barley varieties have been released as a result of the research project, along with a number of advanced breeding lines waiting in the pipeline for variety development. Most of the varieties are bred to suit defined geographies – specifically eastern Canada.

VarietyYear releasedRow typeGeography adapted toLicensed toCharacteristics
AAC Mirabel20136-roweastern CanadaSeCanHigh grain yieldModerate resistance to barley yellow dwarf virus, powdery mildew, leaf rust and loose smuts
AAC Starbuck (hulless)20142-rowQuebec and  Maritime ProvincesSeCanHigh grain yieldHigh test weightHigh seed weightLow DON accumulation
AAC Purpose20142-rowQuebec and  Maritime ProvincesBramhill SeedsHigh grain yieldVery high seed weightResistance to powdery mildew and leaf rust
AAC Vitality20156-rowOntarioAdvantage Seed GrowersHigh grain yieldGood resistance to lodging and straw break
AAC Montrose20156-rowOntarioSeCanHigh grain yieldGood resistance to lodging, neck break and straw break
AAC Bloomfield20176-rowMaritime ProvincesLa Coop FedereeHigh grainGood lodging resistance

Maritime and Quebec growers tend to prefer 2-row over 6-row barley. This shift in variety preferences is a result of the performance of 2-row varieties that are less susceptible to FHB and consistently deliver high yields. In Ontario, growers are still interested in planting 6-row barley to meet end-user preferences. The conclusion is that 2-row barley varieties perform better in the Maritimes and Quebec growing climates, leading to a shift in breeding and research efforts throughout the project to develop 2-row and 6-row barley cultivars to meet grower demand.

Development of functional foods

Advanced lines derived from the CDC Rattan/CDC Fibar cross were assessed on beta-glucan. The results indicate that beta-glucan viscosity would be more effective in the development of functional food barley due to its wider and distinct characteristics as compared to beta-glucan content. The current barley beta-glucan health claim is based on beta-glucan content that does not differentiate among low-, intermediate- or high-molecular weight beta-glucans. However, viscosity does differentiate among low-, intermediate- or high-molecular weight beta-glucan because it relates to molecular weight and concentration of beta-glucan. The result is that viscosity measurements reflect wider and distinct characteristics of beta-glucan and could aid in the development of functional food barley.

External Funding Partners:

This research activity was part of the Canadian Field Crop Genetics Improvement Cluster led by the Canadian Field Crop Research Alliance (CFCRA).

Funding for this project was provided in part by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada through the Growing Forward 2 (GF2) AgriInnovation Program and in part by CFCRA members. Grain Farmers of Ontario is a founding member of the CFCRA.

Project Related Publications:

Chamarthi, S.K., Kumar, K., Gunnaiah, R., Kushalappa, A.C., Dion, Y., and Choo, T.M. 2014. Identification of fusarium head blight resistance related metabolites specific to doubled-haploid lines in barley. European Journal of Plant Pathology 138:67–78.

Choo, T.-M., Xue, A.G., and Martin, R.A. 2016. AAC Montrose barley. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 96(2), pp. 222-224.

Choo, T.-M., Xue, A.G., and Martin, R.A. 2016. AAC Vitality barley. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 96(3), pp. 367-370.

Choo, T.-M., Martin, R.A., ter Beek, S.M., MacDonald, D., Scott, P., Dion, Y., Rioux, S., Pageau, D., and Abdel-Aal, E-S.M. 2015. AAC purpose barley. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 95(3), pp. 599-602.

Choo, T.-M., ter Beek, S.M., Martin, R.A., MacDonald, D., Scott, P., Dion, Y., Rioux, S., Pageau, D., Fregeau-Reid, J., and Abdel-Aal, E-S.M. 2015. AAC starbuck hulless barley. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 95(3), pp. 595-598.

Choo, T.-M., Vigier, B.J., Savard, M.E., Blackwell, B.A., Martin, R.A., Wang, J.M., Yang, J., and Abdel-Aal, E-S.M. 2015. Black Barley as a Means of Mitigating Deoxynivalenol Contamination. Crop Science. 55 (May-June), pp. 1096-1103.

Choo, T.-M., Martin, R.A., Savard, M.E., and Blackwell, B.A. 2014. Effects of planting date and earliness on deoxynivalenol contamination in barley under natural epidemic conditions. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 94(8), pp. 1363-1371.

Choo, T.-M., Martin, R.A., Xue, A.G., MacDonald, D., Scott, P., Rowsell, J., Dion, Y., and Rioux, S. 2014. AAC Mirabel barley. Canadian Journal of Plant Science, 94, pp. 465-468.

Choo, T.M., ter Beek, S. M., Martin, R. A., Rowsell, J., and Frégeau-Reid, J. 2013. AAC Azimuth hulless barley. Canadian Journal of Plant Science. 93:755-757.

Fetch Jr., T.G., Fetch, J.M., Zegeye, T., and Xue, A.G. 2015. Races of Puccinia graminis on wheat, oat, and barley in Canada in 2009 and 2010. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. 37(4), pp. 476-484.

Fetch Jr., T.G., Mitchell Fetch, J.W., and Xue, A.G. 2015. Races of Puccinia graminis on barley, oat, and wheat in Canada in 2007 and 2008. Canadian Journal of Plant Pathology. 37(3), pp. 331-341.

Kumar, A., Yogendra, K.N., Karre, S., Kushalappa, A.C., Dion, Y., and Choo, T.-M. 2016. WAX INDUCER1 (HvWIN1) transcription factor regulates free fatty acid biosynthetic genes to reinforce cuticle to resist Fusarium head blight in barley spikelets. Journal of Experimental Botany.

Legge, W.G., Tucker, J.R., Bizimungu, B., Tekauz, A., Fetch, T.G. Jr., Haber, S., Menzies, J.G., Noll, J.S., Turkington, T.K., Martin, R.A., Choo, T.M., Vigier, B.J., Blackwell, B.A., and Savard, M.E. 2013. Taylor barley. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 93:969-977.

Legge, W. G., Tucker, J. R., Fetch Jr., T. G., Haber, S., Menzies, J. G., Noll, J. S., Tekauz, A.,Turkington, T. K., Savard, M. E., and Choo, T.M. 2013. Cerveza barley. Canadian Journal of Plant Science 93:557-564.

R. Khanal, R, Choo, TM, Martin, R, Xue, A, Ter Beek S, MacDonald, D, Scott O. 2018. AAC Bloomfield barley. Canadian Journal of Plant Science

Xue, A.G. and Chen, Y. 2014. Diseases of barley in central and eastern Ontario in 2014. Canadian Plant Disease Survey, 94, pp. 109-111.

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