, Volume 185, Issue 1, pp 37–45 | Cite as

QTL associated with barley (Hordeum vulgare) feed quality traits measured through in situ digestion

  • Peter W. Gous
  • Anke Martin
  • Wendy Lawson
  • Alison Kelly
  • Glen P. Fox
  • Mark W. SutherlandEmail author


Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is a major feed source for the intensive livestock industry. Competitiveness against other cereal grains depends largely on the price per unit of expressed feed quality. The traits which contribute to feed quality in barley are largely quantitative in nature but little is known about their genetic control. A study to identify the quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with feed quality was performed using a F6-derived recombinant inbred barley population. Samples from each line were incubated in the rumen of fistulated cattle, recovered, washed and dried for determination of in situ dry matter digestibility. Additionally, both pre- and post-digestion samples were analysed to quantify the content of key quality components relating to acid detergent fibre, total starch and protein. The data was used to identify trait-associated QTLs. Genetic analysis identified significant QTLs on chromosomes 2H, 5H and 7H. Genetic markers linked to these QTL should provide an effective tool for the selection and improvement of feed barley in the future.


ADF Barley DMD Feed quality Protein QTL Starch 



The authors acknowledge the Grain Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) and the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation (DEEDI) for funding the project. We thank Donna Hocroft (DEEDI) and Jim Kidd (CAAS) for all their time and aid in sample preparation for the phenotypic trial and for maintaining the cattle herd.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter W. Gous
    • 1
    • 4
  • Anke Martin
    • 1
  • Wendy Lawson
    • 2
  • Alison Kelly
    • 3
  • Glen P. Fox
    • 3
    • 5
  • Mark W. Sutherland
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Centre for Systems BiologyUniversity of Southern QueenslandToowoombaAustralia
  2. 2.Department of Employment, Economic Development and InnovationHermitage Research FacilityWarwickAustralia
  3. 3.Department of Employment, Economic Development and InnovationLeslie Research FacilityToowoombaAustralia
  4. 4.Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food InnovationThe University of QueenslandSt. LuciaAustralia
  5. 5.Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation, Leslie Research FacilityThe University of QueenslandToowoombaAustralia

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