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Geographical differentiation and diallel analysis of seed dormancy in barley


Seed dormancy is one of the most important parameters affecting the malting process and pre-harvest sprouting in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Variation of seed dormancy in 4365 cultivated and 177 wild barley (ssp. spontaneum) accessions derived from different regions of the world was investigated in Okayama University, Kurashiki, Japan. Seed dormancy of each accession was estimated from their germination percentages at 0, 5, 10 and 15 weeks post-harvest after-ripening periods. All of the wild barley accessions showed less than 10% germination at 0 week after-ripening period. Level of seed dormancy in 4365 cultivated barley accessions showed a clear geographical differentiation. Seventy seven percent of Ethiopian accessions showed high germination percentages, while 86% of Japanese, Turkish and North African accessions showed low germination percentages at 0 week after-ripening period. A half diallel cross using eleven barley accessions with different level of dormancy revealed that seed dormancy was predominately controlled by additive gene effects. These results suggest that large genetic diversity for seed dormancy in barley is explained as different levels of additive accumulation of genetic factors. Barley varieties showing appropriate dormancy could be developed by crossing among barley germplasm accessions used in the present study.

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We would like to thank Ms. Y. Murata for excellent technical assistance. The authors thank Dr. P.B. Talbert for his critical reading of the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Kiyosumi Hori.

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Takeda, K., Hori, K. Geographical differentiation and diallel analysis of seed dormancy in barley. Euphytica 153, 249–256 (2007).

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  • Hordeum vulgare L.
  • Seed dormancy
  • Genetic resources
  • Breeding