University Of Tasmania
153054 - A new major QTL.pdf (1.44 MB)

A new major QTL for flag leaf thickness in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-21, 13:20 authored by Yanan NiuYanan Niu, Tianxiao Chen, Zheng, Z, Chenchen ZhaoChenchen Zhao, Liu, C, Jia, J, Meixue ZhouMeixue Zhou
Background: Carbohydrate accumulation of photosynthetic organs, mainly leaves, are the primary sources of grain yield in cereals. The flag leaf plays a vital role in seed development, which is probably the most neglected morphological characteristic during traditional selection processes.

Results: In this experiment, four flag leaf morphological traits and seven yield-related traits were investigated in a DH population derived from a cross between a wild barley and an Australian malting barley cultivar. Flag leaf thickness (FLT) showed significantly positive correlations with grain size. Four QTL, located on chromosomes 1H, 2H, 3H, and 5H, respectively, were identified for FLT. Among them, a major QTL was located on chromosome 3H with a LOD value of 18.4 and determined 32% of the phenotypic variation. This QTL showed close links but not pleiotropism to the previously reported semi-dwarf gene sdw1 from the cultivated barley. This QTL was not reported before and the thick leaf allele from the wild barley could provide a useful source for improving grain yield through breeding.

Conclusions: Our results also provided valuable evidence that source traits and sink traits in barley are tightly connected and suggest further improvement of barley yield potential with enhanced and balanced source and sink relationships by exploiting potentialities of the wild barley resources. Moreover, this study will provide a novel sight on understanding the evolution and development of leaf morphology in barley and improving barley production by rewilding for lost superior traits during plant evolution.


Grains Research & Development Corporation


Publication title

BMC Plant Biology



Article number









Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture (TIA)


BioMed Central Ltd.

Place of publication

United Kingdom

Rights statement

© The Author(s) 2022. Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0) License, ( which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made

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  • Open

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