The utility of molecular markers for Barley net blotch resistance across geographic regions

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Molecular marker technology shows potential to select and combine favorable alleles via genotypic selection and can be used to develop improved crop cultivars with considerable resource savings. In the present investigation, the utility of molecular markers for net blotch resistance identified in Australian breeding material was investigated for Canadian breeding material. Screening 42 Canadian, Australian, and international barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) lines with 10 Canadian Pyrenophora teres Drechs. isolates identified three lines resistant to all isolates evaluated. Net-form net blotch isolates were more virulent than spot-form net blotch isolates. The strong agreement between seedling and adult-plant reactions indicated that seedling screening could be useful for selection for adult-plant resistance. Evaluation of the inheritance of resistance in four Australian populations against Canadian P. teres isolates revealed one to three resistance genes, depending on the isolate used. The majority of Australian barley mapping population parents were susceptible to Canadian P. teres isolates, suggesting markers linked to their resistance may not be useful for Canadian breeding; however, some molecular markers identified by Australian workers could be used for Canadian barley breeding. This study demonstrates that the differences in germplasm and fungal pathogen strains used in different countries result in molecular markers that may not be applicable in all breeding programs for that crop.

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