Under drought conditions seminal roots may be more important than nodal roots and plants often reach maturity growing with their seminal roots only. This study was conducted to assess the differences, at an early stage of development, for seminal root characteristics and coleoptile length in three groups of barley germplasm: H. spontaneum, landraces, and modern cultivars. H. spontaneum had an average of three seminal root axes, always less than modern varieties and landraces, intermediate maximum seminal root length, and total root length similar to that of modern germplasm. Landraces did not differ from modern cultivars for number of seminal root axes, but they had the longest seminal root system. Modern cultivars had several short seminal roots. The results suggest that landraces have a more vigorous seminal root system than modern cultivars. Both landraces and H. spontaneum are important genetic resources which may contribute to specific adaptation of barley to moisture-stressed environments.
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Grando, S., Ceccarelli, S. Seminal root morphology and coleoptile length in wild (Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum) and cultivated (Hordeum vulgare ssp. vulgare) barley. Euphytica 86, 73–80 (1995). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00035941
- seminal roots
- coleoptile length
- Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum