Molecular Breeding

, 35:27 | Cite as

Waterlogging tolerance is associated with root porosity in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)

  • Sue Broughton
  • Gaofeng Zhou
  • Natasha L. Teakle
  • Rena Matsuda
  • Meixue Zhou
  • Rebecca A. O’Leary
  • Timothy D. Colmer
  • Chengdao LiEmail author


Tolerance to waterlogging is an important breeding objective for barley (Hordeum vulgare L.); however, it is a complex quantitative trait. It is difficult to screen large numbers of lines in the field due to environmental variability, and it is also challenging to screen large numbers in controlled conditions if yield data are to be collected. The direct measurement of traits that contribute to waterlogging tolerance, such as aerenchyma development in roots, may offer advantages especially if molecular markers can be developed to screen breeding populations. A doubled haploid population from a cross between Franklin and YuYaoXiangTian Erleng was screened for adventitious root porosity (gas-filled volume per unit root volume) as an indicator of aerenchyma formation. A single QTL for root porosity was identified on chromosome 4H which explained 35.7 and 39.0 % of phenotypic variation in aerated and oxygen-deficient conditions, respectively. The nearest marker was EBmac0701. This QTL is located in the same chromosomal region that contributed to tolerance when the same population was screened in an earlier independent soil waterlogging experiment. Comparative mapping revealed that this QTL is syntenic with the Qaer1.02-3 QTL in maize and the Sub1A-1 gene in rice, which are associated with aerenchyma formation (maize) and submergence tolerance (rice), respectively. This is the first report of a QTL for root porosity in barley which elucidates a major mechanism of waterlogging tolerance.


Soil waterlogging QTL Aerenchyma Adventitious roots Root hypoxia Stress tolerance Chromosome 4H 



Funding support from the Australian Grains Research and Development Corporation through project DAW00187 ‘DAFWA-TIAR China Barley Collaboration’ is gratefully acknowledged. We would also like to thank Sharon Westcott and Vera Limadinata for assisting with root porosity and plant growth measurements.

Supplementary material

11032_2015_243_MOESM1_ESM.docx (14 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 14 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sue Broughton
    • 1
  • Gaofeng Zhou
    • 1
  • Natasha L. Teakle
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rena Matsuda
    • 3
  • Meixue Zhou
    • 4
  • Rebecca A. O’Leary
    • 1
  • Timothy D. Colmer
    • 3
  • Chengdao Li
    • 1
    • 5
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agriculture and Food WASouth PerthAustralia
  2. 2.Graduate Research SchoolEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  3. 3.School of Plant Biology and Institute of AgricultureThe University of Western AustraliaCrawleyAustralia
  4. 4.University of TasmaniaKings MeadowsAustralia
  5. 5.The State Agricultural Biotechnology CentreMurdoch UniversityMurdochAustralia

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