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Towards the Development of Perennial Barley for Cold Temperate Climates—Evaluation of Wild Barley Relatives as Genetic Resources

Department of Plant Biology, Uppsala BioCenter, Linnean Centre for Plant Biology in Uppsala, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-75007 Uppsala, Sweden
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Sustainability 2018, 10(6), 1969; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10061969
Received: 6 April 2018 / Revised: 6 June 2018 / Accepted: 8 June 2018 / Published: 12 June 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies, Advances and Challenges of Breeding Perennial Grain Crops)
Perennial cereal crops could limit the negative impacts of agriculture on the environment and climate change. In cold temperate climates, perennial plants must be adapted to seasonal changes and abiotic stresses, such as frost, to be able to regrow for several years. Wild crop relatives that are perennials and already adapted to cold temperate climates may provide genetic resources for breeding new perennial cereal grain crops. Barley (Hordeum vulgare) is one of the most important cereals in northern agricultural areas, and its related perennial species may be good candidates for the development of perennial cereals. We evaluated a diverse set of 17 wild perennial Hordeum species represented by 67 accessions in field conditions with a cold winter climate and long days during summer in Central Sweden (latitude 60° N). Six species (H. brevisubulatum, H. bulbosum, H. fuegianum, H. jubatum, H. lechleri and H. secalinum) showed regrowth and formation of spikes for four seasons. The most distant perennial relative of barley, H. stenostachys, showed weak regrowth. H. bulbosum, the closest perennial barley relative, had a large number of accessions with wide geographic origins that showed good regrowth. Together with its storage bulbs and its cross-compatibility with barley, this makes H. bulbosum an important genetic resource for the development of perennial Hordeum grains using either the domestication or the wide-hybridization strategy. View Full-Text
Keywords: barley; genetic resource; Hordeum bulbosum; perennial cereal grain; seasonal growth; wild relatives barley; genetic resource; Hordeum bulbosum; perennial cereal grain; seasonal growth; wild relatives
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Westerbergh, A.; Lerceteau-Köhler, E.; Sameri, M.; Bedada, G.; Lundquist, P.-O. Towards the Development of Perennial Barley for Cold Temperate Climates—Evaluation of Wild Barley Relatives as Genetic Resources. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1969.

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