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Speed breeding for multiple disease resistance in barley

Hickey, Lee T., Germán, Silvia E., Pereyra, Silvia A., Diaz, Juan E., Ziems, Laura A., Fowler, Ryan A., Platz, Greg J., Franckowiak, Jerome D., Dieters, Mark J.
Euphytica 2017 v.213 no.3 pp. 64
Hordeum vulgare, backcrossing, barley, brewing, climate change, cultivars, disease resistance, introgression, leaf rust, malting, net blotch, pathogens, phenotype, plant breeders, plant breeding, Argentina, Australia, Uruguay
To respond faster to the changing climate, evolving pathogens and to feed a global population of 9–10 billion by 2050, plant breeders are exploring more efficient crop improvement strategies. In this study, we applied novel methodology for rapid trait introgression to the European two-rowed barley cultivar Scarlett. Scarlett is widely-grown in Argentina and is preferred for malting and brewing, yet lacks adequate disease resistance. We used four donor lines combining multiple disease resistance (i.e. leaf rust, net and spot forms of net blotch and spot blotch) in a modified backcross strategy, which incorporated both multi-trait phenotypic screens and the rapid generation advance technology ‘speed breeding’, to develop 87 BC₁F₃:₄ Scarlett introgression lines (ILs) within two years. Phenotyping this set of lines in disease nurseries located in Australia and Uruguay revealed the ILs had high levels of multiple disease resistance. Preliminary yield testing of the 12 most promising ILs in Argentina identified three ILs that were significantly higher yielding than Scarlett at Balcarce, whereas all 12 ILs displayed yield equivalent to Scarlett at Tres Arroyos. We propose that this approach is useful to rapidly transfer genes for multiple target traits into adapted cereal cultivars or pyramiding desirable traits in elite breeding material.