, Volume 120, Issue 3, pp 317-328

Mutation genetics of salt tolerance in barley: An assessment of Golden Promise and other semi-dwarf mutants

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Abstract

A review of research at the Scottish Crop Research Institute (SCRI) on the effects of semi-dwarfing genes on salt tolerance in barley is given. Work began in1993 with the fortuitous and unexpected result that the cultivar ‘Golden Promise’ showed considerable tolerance to salt. Golden Promise is a gamma-ray induced semi-dwarf mutant of the cultivar ‘Maythorpe’. The parent and mutant cultivars are presumed to be isogenic, but show significant differences in their responses to salt stress. The positive and pleiotropic effects of the mutant gene, commonly known as GPert were found to be effective in a number of genetic backgrounds. Earlier, in 1991 Frackowiak showed that the GPert mutation was allelic to the ari-e mutants in barley. The ari-emutants were salt tested and found to show the same positive responses to salt stress as Golden Promise. This supported the allelism tests, and consequently the GPert symbol was changed to ari-e.GP. The semi-dwarf mutant sdw1 (also known as denso) and the erectoides semi-dwarf mutant,ert-k 32 were also tested for their effects on tolerance to salt, but did not show any positive effects. Salt tolerance was therefore not a general phenomenon of semi-dwarf stature but specific to mutations at the Ari-e locus in these lines. Genetic markers (RAPDs, AFLPs and SSRs) have been used for fingerprinting, genetic mapping, and QTL analysis. The markers have helped 1) confirm the isogenic relationship between Maythorpe and Golden Promise, 2)clarify the confusion over the pedigree of Golden Promise, and 3) genetically map the ari-e.GPlocus and examine its pleiotropic effects.