Breeding hybrid barley for bioenergy purposes with special consideration of the Stay Green effect (HybGPS)
Project code: JKI-RS-08-3368
Contract period: 01.09.2013 - 31.08.2016
Purpose of research: Applied research
The project aimed at breeding hybrid winter barley suited for the utilization as whole plant silage in biogas plants. Results will answer the question whether a simultaneous breeding for grain yield and whole plant silage is possible and whether hybrid barley will perform better than line cultivars with respect to whole plant silage use. In addition, the impact of the so called stay green effect which is known in other crop species on whole plant silage yield in barley will be determined. In order to adapt barley to the climate change, respective genotypes will be also analyzed for drought stress tolerance. In order to reach these goals, breeding lines and test hybrids will be analyzed for grain yield and whole plant silage yield in field trials and for drought stress tolerance in pot experiments. Based on these trials heterosis with respect to the above mentioned traits will be determined. Besides this, doubled haploid lines will be developed, genotyped and phenotyped, in order to detect QTL for the stay green trait. Results obtained in field and drought stress tolerance trials will be directly used in breeding drought stress tolerant hybrid barley. The JKI was involved in the evaluation of parental lines (Core-Set) and test hybrids (Factorial-Set) under drought stress conditions in temperature-controlled greenhouse chambers. Two drought variants starting at heading and at the end of tillering were analysed. The pot experiments of the Core-Set were performed in the first project year, and those of the Factorial-Set in years 2 and 3.Yield parameters like biomass, grain yield, thousand kernel weight, harvest index and relative yield, the phenological traits flowering and ripeness, the quality traits protein- and starch content, and the physiological traits chlorophyll content, accumulation of proline and soluble sugars and osmolality were determined. All data for Core- and Factorial-Set were statistical analysed. For parental lines and hybrids a significant influence of the drought stress treatment for nearly all traits analysed was estimated as well as significant differences between the genotypes for many traits. Hybrids showed for some of the traits like biomass and harvest index also significant differences to their parental components. Besides these pot experiments, an experiment for the determination of the influence of early drought stress on root growth was conducted for selected hybrids. After a drought stress of two- and four weeks, root length, root biomass and aboveground biomass were determined. Next to significant differences between the variants also significant differences between drought tolerant and drought susceptible hybrids were detected for aboveground biomass and root biomass after a 4-week long drought stress.