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A century of breeding - is genetic erosion a reality?

temporal diversity changes in Nordic and Baltic barley

Kolodinska Brantestam, Agnese (2005). A century of breeding - is genetic erosion a reality? Diss. (sammanfattning/summary) Alnarp : Sveriges lantbruksuniv., Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae, 1652-6880 ; 2005:30
ISBN 91-576-7029-3
[Doctoral thesis]

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Barley (Hordeum vulgare L. ssp. vulgare) is an important crop in the Nordic and Baltic countries, where it is mainly used for feed and malt. Commercial breeding of barley has been carried out in this region for more than a century, and landraces have been completely replaced by pure line cultivars. There is a concern that plant breeding might lead to a severe reduction of genetic diversity, so-called genetic erosion, since commercial breeding was initially based only on a few successful selections from landraces. The consequences of such erosion would affect plasticity of the crop, which might reduce its ability to adapt to future agriculture and consumption demands and increase the vulnerability to epidemics. The aim of this study was to evaluate the degree of putative genetic erosion and relationships in Nordic and Baltic barley material. A large collection representing landraces and cultivars from the end of the 19th century up to modern material were analysed by isozymes and DNA markers. In addition, field trials were performed in order to observe changes in the diversity of agronomic traits. General indications of a decrease in diversity were observed. A loss of less common alleles was found in molecular markers and a significant decrease of variability was detected for most agronomic traits. However, the molecular markers failed to prove significant diversity changes in the material as a whole. New alleles, not present in Nordic and Baltic landraces and old cultivars, were found in modern material. Differences in the magnitude of diversity varied depending of country and region (North vs South) of origin and row type of the crop. Some of these diversity changes were also significant in the molecular makers, for example a significant decrease in material from the southern part of the region was observed. The two-rowed and six-rowed cultivars of this region were well differentiated not only by agronomic data, but also by DNA markers. They demonstrated differences at chromosome regions distant from the inflorescence determinating genes. While agronomical data separate modern material from landraces and old cultivars fairly well, DNA markers achieved this for most of the countries only when the material was analysed separately by country. The main conclusion of this study is that breeding in Nordic and Baltic countries has decreased diversity at some traits, but overall diversity of the crop has not changed significantly. However, the landraces and old cultivars of the region should still be considered as valuable diversity sources since some of the loci found there are not present in modern materials.

Authors/Creators:Kolodinska Brantestam, Agnese
Title:A century of breeding - is genetic erosion a reality?
Subtitle:temporal diversity changes in Nordic and Baltic barley
Series Name/Journal:Acta Universitatis Agriculturae Sueciae
Year of publishing :March 2005
Number of Pages:29
ALLKolodinska Brantestam, A., von Bothmer, R., Rashal, I. & Weibull, J. (2003) Changes in the genetic diversity of barley of Nordic and Baltic origin, studied by isozyme electrophoresis. Plant Genetic Resources Evaluation and Utilization 1, 143-149. Kolodinska Brantestam, A., von Bothmer, R., Dayteg, C., Rashal, I., Tuvesson, S. & Weibull, J. (2004) Inter simple sequence repeat analysis of genetic diversity and relationships in cultivated barley of Nordic and Baltic region. Hereditas 141, 186-192. Kolodinska Brantestam, A., von Bothmer, R., Dayteg, C., Rashal, I., Tuvesson, S. & Weibull, J. Genetic diversity changes and relationships in spring barley germplasm of Nordic and Baltic areas as shown by SSR markers (Submited). Kolodinska Brantestam, A., von Bothmer, R., Gullord, M., Rashal, I., & Weibull, J. Changes in variation of agronomic traits of Nordic and Baltic spring barley bred during the 20th century (Manuscript).
Place of Publication:Alnarp
ISBN for printed version:91-576-7029-3
Publication Type:Doctoral thesis
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:F Plant production > F30 Plant genetics and breeding
Subjects:Not in use, please see Agris categories
Agrovoc terms:hordeum vulgare, barley, biodiversity, genetic resources, agronomic characters, field experimentation, land varieties, scandinavia, baltic states
Keywords:genetic diversity, Hordeum vulgare, agronomic traits, molecular markers, barley breeding
Permanent URL:
ID Code:797
Department:(NL, NJ) > Institutionen för växtvetenskap
Deposited On:30 Mar 2005 00:00
Metadata Last Modified:02 Dec 2014 10:07

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