, Volume 121, Issue 3, pp 349-356

Barley somaclones associated with high yield or resistance to powdery mildew

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Abstract

A study was conducted to evaluate the usefulness of somaclonal variation as a means to obtain powdery mildew resistance in the background of an agronomically elite, high-yielding barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivar. A total of 170 Ro-derived lines were regenerated from embryo-induced callus of the barley cultivar Léger. Forty-five lines were selected and evaluated in replicated field plots at two locations in Eastern Canada. In comparison with Léger, one of the 45 lines was higher yielding, one produced a greater test weight, two had a greater seed weight, and one was shorter in plant height. Three lines were found to segregate for resistance to powdery mildew (Erysiphe graminis DC ex Merat f. sp. hordei EM). Many of the single-plant selections from the three resistant lines showed resistance to powdery mildew under field conditions for two years. Three lines were eventually promoted to the official registration tests in Ontario. One of the three lines was subsequently registered as a new cultivar (AC Malone) in Canada. To our knowledge, AC Malone is the world's first barley cultivar selected from somaclonal variation. The results of this study demonstrate that it is possible to obtain high- yielding or disease-resistant lines from callus culture in barley.

This revised version was published online in August 2006 with corrections to the Cover Date.