Theoretical and Applied Genetics

, Volume 119, Issue 4, pp 685–694 | Cite as

Varietal and chromosome 2H locus-specific frost tolerance in reproductive tissues of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) detected using a frost simulation chamber

  • Andrew Chen
  • Lawrence V. Gusta
  • Anita Brûlé-Babel
  • Richard Leach
  • Ute Baumann
  • Geoffrey B. Fincher
  • Nicholas C. Collins
Original Paper


Exposure of flowering cereal crops to frost can cause sterility and grain damage, resulting in significant losses. However, efforts to breed for improved low temperature tolerance in reproductive tissues (LTR tolerance) has been hampered by the variable nature of natural frost events and the confounding effects of heading time on frost-induced damage in these tissues. Here, we establish conditions for detection of LTR tolerance in barley under reproducible simulated frost conditions in a custom-built frost chamber. An ice nucleator spray was used to minimize potential effects arising from variation in naturally occurring extrinsic nucleation factors. Barley genotypes differing in their field tolerance could be distinguished. Additionally, an LTR tolerance quantitative trait locus (QTL) on the long arm of barley chromosome 2H could be detected in segregating families. In a recombinant family, the QTL was shown to be separable from the effects of the nearby flowering time locus Flt-2L. At a minimum temperature of −3.5°C for 2 h, detection of the LTR tolerance locus was dependent on the presence of the nucleator spray, suggesting that the tolerance relates to freezing rather than chilling, and that it is not the result of plant-encoded variation in ice-nucleating properties of the tiller surface.

Supplementary material

122_2009_1079_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (328 kb)
Supplementary figures (PDF 327 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andrew Chen
    • 1
  • Lawrence V. Gusta
    • 2
  • Anita Brûlé-Babel
    • 3
  • Richard Leach
    • 4
  • Ute Baumann
    • 1
  • Geoffrey B. Fincher
    • 1
  • Nicholas C. Collins
    • 1
  1. 1.Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics (ACPFG), School of Agriculture, Food and WineUniversity of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Plant SciencesUniversity of SaskatchewanSaskatoonCanada
  3. 3.Department of Plant Science, Faculty of Agricultural and Food SciencesUniversity of ManitobaWinnipegCanada
  4. 4.Plant and Food Science, School of Agriculture, Food and WineUniversity of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia

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