Special Issue "Genetic Analysis of Abiotic-Stress Adaptive Traits in Wheat and Barley"

A special issue of Agronomy (ISSN 2073-4395). This special issue belongs to the section "Crop Breeding and Genetics".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Yehoshua Saranga

The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, R.H. Smith Institute of Plant Sciences & Genetics in Agriculture, P.O. Box 12, Rehovot 76100, ISRAEL
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +972-8-948-9040

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Food production for the rapidly-increasing human population is threatened by loss of agricultural land and by diminishing water availability. A large part of crops’ yield potential is unrealized, primarily due to abiotic-stress factors. Moreover, global climatic change towards greater aridity, higher temperatures and frequent erratic events, is expected to worsen this situation. Developing crop cultivars better adapted to abiotic-stress conditions is considered a sustainable and economically viable approach to enhance crop productivity and ensure food security. Past efforts to develop abiotic-stress resistant crop cultivars were usually hampered by low heritability of stress adaptive traits and by large ‘genotype x environment’ interactions. However, recent advances in molecular and genomic tools make the exploration of these mechanisms more feasible, with the promise of accelerating crop improvement.

Wheat and barley are the two major cool season cereal crops. Wheat provides about 20% of the calories consumed by mankind, whereas barely is used primarily for animal feed and the beer industry. In this special issue we aim to enhance the exchange of knowledge on abiotic-stress adaptive traits in wheat and barley and facilitate the understanding of plant stress adaptive strategies towards the improvement of crop production in stressful environments.

Prof. Yehoshua Saranga
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Crop improvement
  • Cold
  • Drought
  • Flooding
  • Food security
  • Heat
  • Salinity

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Unlocking the Genetic Diversity within A Middle-East Panel of Durum Wheat Landraces for Adaptation to Semi-arid Climate
Agronomy 2018, 8(10), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8100233
Received: 26 September 2018 / Revised: 15 October 2018 / Accepted: 17 October 2018 / Published: 21 October 2018
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Abstract
Drought is the major environmental factor limiting wheat production worldwide. Developing novel cultivars with greater drought tolerance is the most viable solution to ensure sustainable agricultural production and alleviating threats to food-security. Here we established a core-collection of landraces and modern durum wheat
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Drought is the major environmental factor limiting wheat production worldwide. Developing novel cultivars with greater drought tolerance is the most viable solution to ensure sustainable agricultural production and alleviating threats to food-security. Here we established a core-collection of landraces and modern durum wheat cultivars (WheatME, n = 36), from the Middle East region (Jordan, Palestine and Israel) aiming at unlocking the genetic and morpho-physiological adaptation to semi-arid environment conditions. Interestingly, genetic analysis of the WheatME core-collection could not distinguish the landraces according to their country of origin. Field-based evaluation of the core-collection conducted across range of contrasting environmental conditions: Til-Palestine, Bet-Dagan-Israel and Irbid-Jordan with annual precipitation of 500 mm, 360 mm and 315 mm, respectively. The Til environment showed highest grain yield while the Irbid environment showed the lowest values. Analysis of variance showed a significant Genotype × Environment interaction for plant phenology traits (plant height and heading date) and productivity traits (1000-kernel weight, and grain yield). Principal component analysis showed three main cultivar groups: High yielding lines (modern durum cultivars, and landraces), tall late flowering landraces, and landraces with high grain weight. This knowledge could serve as basis for future breeding efforts to develop new elite cultivars adapted to the Mediterranean Basin’s semi-arid conditions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Statistical Modeling of Phenotypic Plasticity under Abiotic Stress in Triticum durum L. and Triticum aestivum L. Genotypes
Agronomy 2018, 8(8), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy8080139
Received: 19 July 2018 / Revised: 30 July 2018 / Accepted: 2 August 2018 / Published: 4 August 2018
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Abstract
Future challenges to the role of durum and bread wheat in global food security will be shaped by their potential to produce larger yields and better nutritional quality, while increasingly adapting to multiple biotic and abiotic stresses in the view of global climate
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Future challenges to the role of durum and bread wheat in global food security will be shaped by their potential to produce larger yields and better nutritional quality, while increasingly adapting to multiple biotic and abiotic stresses in the view of global climate change. There is a dearth of information on comparative assessment of phenotypic plasticity in both wheat species under long-term multiple abiotic stresses. Phenotypic plasticities of two durum and bread wheat genotypes were assessed under increasing abiotic and edaphic stresses for six years. Combinations of normal and reduced length of growing season and population density, with or without rotation, generated increasing levels of competition for resources and impacted phenotypic plasticity of several plant and yield attributes, including protein and micronutrients contents. All the phenotypic plasticity (PPs) estimates, except for the C:N ratio in both genotypes and grain protein content in T. aestivum genotype, were impacted by abiotic stresses during the second stress phase (PS II) compared with the first (PS I); whereas, covariate effects were limited to a few PPs (e.g., biomass, population density, fertile tillers, grain yield, and grain protein content). Discrimination between factor levels decreased from abiotic phases > growth stages > stress treatments and provided selection criteria of trait combinations that can be positively resilient under abiotic stress (e.g., spike harvest and fertility indices combined with biomass and grain yield in both genotypes). Validation and confirmatory factor models and multiway cluster analyses revealed major differences in phenotypic plasticities between wheat genotypes that can be attributed to differences in ploidy level, length of domestication history, or constitutive differences in resources allocation. Discriminant analyses helped to identify genotypic differences or similarities in the level of trait decoupling in relation to the strength of their correlation and heritability estimates. This information is useful in targeted improvement of traits directly contributing to micronutrient densities, yield components, and yield. New wheat ideotype(s) can be designed for larger grain yield potential under abiotic stress by manipulating yield components that affect kernels m−2 (e.g., number of tillers, number of florets per spikelet, and eventually spike fertility and harvest indices) without impacting nutrient densities and kernel weight, thus raising harvest index beyond its current maximum. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Agrobiodiversity for Adaptive and Yield Traits in Romanian and Italian Barley Cultivars across Four Continental Environments
Received: 2 May 2018 / Revised: 14 May 2018 / Accepted: 16 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract
Within temperate climates the frequency and severity of high and low temperature stresses vary with continentality. The current study reports on the assessment of the performance of 49 barley cultivars across four environments. The cultivars stem from 50 years of breeding activities in
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Within temperate climates the frequency and severity of high and low temperature stresses vary with continentality. The current study reports on the assessment of the performance of 49 barley cultivars across four environments. The cultivars stem from 50 years of breeding activities in Romania and Italy, in two temperate climates that differ in continentality. The plants were phenotyped through stress monitoring, measurements of yield and yield related traits as well as laboratory stress tolerance tests. Genotypes for alleles of vernalisation and photoperiod genes were determined. These genes were significantly associated with frost damage in the field and frost tolerance in laboratory tests. Grain yield (GY) was more closely correlated with the number of grain sinks than with the degree of grain filling indicating major limitations in the vegetative growth phase and during grain initiation. High temperature stress during the grain filling phase significantly reduced GY. Frost damage due to freezing temperatures below −10 °C when plants were not protected by snow cover significantly reduced GY of sensitive cultivars. The characterisation of environmental cues that cause stresses with yield penalties as well as the susceptibility of genetically different cultivars lay the ground for future targeted selection. Full article
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Open AccessArticle Physiological Response of Wheat to Chemical Desiccants Used to Simulate Post-Anthesis Drought Stress
Received: 15 January 2018 / Revised: 3 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
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Abstract
Post-anthesis drought stress is one of the main constraints on the production of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Because field screening for post-anthesis drought tolerance is difficult, effective and validated methods to simulate drought in order to identify sources of tolerance can facilitate
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Post-anthesis drought stress is one of the main constraints on the production of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Because field screening for post-anthesis drought tolerance is difficult, effective and validated methods to simulate drought in order to identify sources of tolerance can facilitate screening of breeding materials. Chemical desiccants are widely used to simulate post-anthesis drought stress. We aimed to identify physiological traits that respond to desiccants as they do to drought. We examined the responses of ‘Norin 61’ to six treatments in a greenhouse: irrigated control, drought after anthesis, and 2% or 4% potassium chlorate (KClO3) at anthesis (A) or grain filling (GF). We measured δ13C in leaves, aboveground fresh biomass, stomatal conductance, chlorophyll content, harvest index, and grain yield. Both 2% and 4% KClO3 at both A and GF simulated the effect of drought stress. Selection of drought-tolerant genotypes can be aided by chlorophyll content and δ13C measurement of leaves when 2% or 4% KClO3 is used to simulate drought. Full article
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