, Volume 9, Issue 2, pp 243-254
Date: 11 Mar 2009

Flt-2L, a locus in barley controlling flowering time, spike density, and plant height

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Abstract

Flowering time represents an important adaptive trait for temperate cereal crops and may also impact on frost damage in cereal reproductive tissues by enabling escape or by influencing accumulation of genuine tolerance. The Flowering time-2L (Flt-2L) quantitative trait locus (QTL) on the distal end of barley chromosome arm 2HL overlaps with QTL for rachis internode length and reproductive frost damage. Flt-2L was also found to be associated with plant height. By combining marker analysis with phenotyping in progeny families of selected Amagi Nijo × WI2585 F6 recombinants, we were able to map quantitative flowering time, rachis internode length, and plant height effects on 2HL as discrete Mendelian traits. The three developmental characters showed codominant modes of expression and perfectly cosegregated with one another in a 1.3-cM marker interval, indicating control by the same gene or closely linked genes. Twelve genes were identified in the related intervals in the rice and Brachypodium distachyon genomes. The HvAP2 gene cosegregated with Flt-2L and represents a plausible candidate for Flt-2L, since it is highly similar to the wheat domestication gene Q which has similar developmental effects. These data will contribute to isolation of the Flt-2L gene(s) and help establish the basis of the frost damage QTL.