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Liang J.,CAS Chengdu Institute of Biology | Liang J.,University of Chinese Academy of Sciences | Deng G.,CAS Chengdu Institute of Biology | Long H.,CAS Chengdu Institute of Biology | And 9 more authors.
Molecular Breeding

Expression of the late embryogenesis abundant (LEA) gene is usually associated with plant response to dehydration. In this study, a drought-tolerant genotype was screened from 48 accessions of Tibetan hulless barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp. vulgare). By using virus-induced gene silencing, the influence of two LEA genes (HVA1 and Dhn6) on drought tolerance of Tibetan hulless barley was investigated. Results of quantitative real-time PCR indicated that the relative expression levels of HVA1 and Dhn6 in silenced plants were significantly reduced compared with control plants. Both HVA1-silenced and Dhn6-silenced plants showed a consequently lower survival rate than control plants under drought stress. However, only HVA1-silenced plants exhibited a significantly higher water loss rate (WLR). These results suggested that HVA1 and Dhn6 might participate in adaptive responses to water deficit in different ways. Vegetative growth of HVA1-silenced plants was significantly retarded even under optimal growth conditions, and their biomass accumulation was also much lower than that of the controls. These results indicate that HVA1 might play a role in vegetative growth of Tibetan hulless barley. © 2011 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Chen W.Y.,CAS Chengdu Institute of Biology | Chen W.Y.,China West Normal University | Liu Z.M.,CAS Chengdu Institute of Biology | Liu Z.M.,China West Normal University | And 8 more authors.
Genetics and Molecular Research

Lodging (LD) is a major constraint limiting the yield and forage quality of barley. Detailed analyses of LD component (LDC) traits were conducted using 246 F2 plants generated from a cross between cultivars ZQ320 and 1277. Genetic relationships between LD and LDC were evaluated by unconditional and conditional quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping with 117 simple sequence repeat markers. Ultimately, 53 unconditional QTL related to LD were identified on seven barley chromosomes. Up to 15 QTL accounted for over 10% of the phenotypic variation, and up to 20 QTL for culm strength were detected. Six QTL with pleiotropic effects showing significant negative correlations with LD were found between markers Bmag353 and GBM1482 on chromosome 4H. These alleles and alleles of QTL for wall thickness, culm strength, plant height, and plant weight originated from ZQ320. Conditional mapping identified 96 additional QTL for LD. Conditional QTL analysis demonstrated that plant height, plant height center of gravity, and length of the sixth internode had the greatest contribution to LD, whereas culm strength and length of the fourth internode, and culm strength of the second internode were the key factors for LD-resistant. Therefore, lodging resistance in barley can be improved based on selection of alleles affecting culm strength, wall thickness, plant height, and plant weight. The conditional QTL mapping method can be used to evaluate possible genetic relationships between LD and LDC while efficiently and precisely determining counteracting QTL, which will help in understanding the genetic basis of LD in barley.© FUNPEC-RP www.funpecrp.com.br. Source

Zeng X.,Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry science | Bai L.,Chengdu Life Baseline Technology Co. | Wei Z.,Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry science | Yuan H.,Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry science | And 9 more authors.
BMC Genomics

Background: Hulless barley, also called naked barley, is an important cereal crop worldwide, serving as a healthy food both for human consumption and animal feed. Nevertheless, it often suffered from drought stress during its growth and development, resulting in a drastic reduction in barley yields. Therefore, study on molecular mechanism of hulless barley drought-tolerance is very important for increasing barley production. To investigate molecular mechanism of barley drought-resistance, this study examined co-regulated mRNAs that show a change in expression pattern under early well water, later water deficit and finally water recovery treatments, and to identify mRNAs specific to water limiting conditions. Results: Total of 853 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were detected and categorized into nine clusters, in which VI and VIII were apparently up-regulated under low relative soil moisture content (RSMC) level. The majority of genes in these two clusters was relevant to abiotic stress responses in abscisic acid (ABA) dependent and independent signaling pathway, including NCED, PYR/PYL/RCAR, SnRK2, ABF, MYB/MYC, AP2/ERF family, LEA and DHN. In contrast, genes within clusters II and IV were generally down-regulated under water stress; cluster IX genes were up-regulated during water recovery response to both low and high RSMC levels. Genes in implicated in tetrapyrrole binding, photosystem and photosynthetic membrane were the most affected in cluster IX. Conclusion: Taken together, our findings indicate that the responses of hulless barley to drought stress shows differences in the pathways and genes activated. Furthermore, all these genes displayed different sensitivities to soil water deficit and might be profitable for future drought tolerance improvement in barley and other crops. © 2016 Zeng et al. Source

Zenga X.,Tibet Academy of Agricultural and Animal Husbandry science | Zenga X.,Barley Improvement and Yak Breeding Key Laboratory of Tibet Autonomous Region | Long H.,CAS Chengdu Institute of Biology | Wang Z.,BGI Technology | And 50 more authors.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

The Tibetan hulless barley (Hordeum vulgare L. var. nudum), also called "Qingke" in Chinese and "Ne" in Tibetan, is the staple food for Tibetans and an important livestock feed in the Tibetan Plateau. The diploid nature and adaptation to diverse environments of the highland give it unique resources for genetic research and crop improvement. Here we produced a 3.89-Gb draft assembly of Tibetan hulless barley with 36,151 predicted protein-coding genes. Comparative analyses revealed the divergence times and synteny between barley and other representative Poaceae genomes. The expansion of the gene family related to stress responses was found in Tibetan hulless barley. Resequencing of 10 barley accessions uncovered high levels of genetic variation in Tibetan wild barley and genetic divergence between Tibetan and non-Tibetan barley genomes. Selective sweep analyses demonstrate adaptive correlations of genes under selection with extensive environmental variables. Our results not only construct a genomic framework for crop improvement but also provide evolutionary insights of highland adaptation of Tibetan hulless barley. Source

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