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Genotype by environment interactions in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.): different responses of landraces, recombinant inbred lines and varieties to Mediterranean environment

Rodriguez, Monica, Rau, Domenico, Papa, Roberto, Attene, Giovanna
Euphytica 2008 v.163 no.2 pp. 231-247
barley, landraces, Hordeum vulgare, genotype-environment interaction, grain yield, inbred lines, Mediterranean climate, Sardinia
Genotype-by-environment interactions (GEIs) can affect breeding progress because they often complicate the evaluation and selection of superior genotypes. This drawback can be reduced by gaining insights into GEI processes and genotype adaptation. Here, we have studied the GEIs over a set of 24 barley genotypes that were grown across six environments (location-by-year combinations) in Sardinia, Italy. Three groups of genotypes were analysed: barley landraces (LANs), recombinant inbred lines (RILs), and commercial varieties (VARs). The additive main effects and multiplicative interaction (AMMI) model was used for data analysis, and results evidenced no significant differences in grain yield averages for the 24 genotypes. However, there was a relevant GEI for yield mainly between two of the six environments (one characterised by warm pre-anthesis period and high spring rainfalls, and the other characterised by opposite features) and two groups of genotypes (VAR and LAN). Moreover, a negative trade-off between yield levels of genotypes was seen when the barley genotypes were grown in the contrasting environments. Overall, intermediate GEI levels were seen for RILs in comparison to LANs and VARs, and some of the RILs provided valuable yield levels (e.g. RILs 23 and 52). The results thus show the potential usefulness of LANs as a genetic resource for breeding, e.g. to obtain genotypes adapted to Mediterranean environments, such as the RILs analysed in this study.