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Genetic characterization of agronomic traits and grain threshability for organic naked barley in the northern United States
Crop Science  (IF2.319),  Pub Date : 2021-12-18, DOI: 10.1002/csc2.20686
Chris Massman, Brigid Meints, Javier Hernandez, Karl Kunze, Patrick M. Hayes, Mark E. Sorrells, Kevin P. Smith, Julie C. Dawson, Lucia Gutierrez

Naked barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) grain threshes freely from its hull during harvesting and cleaning. Much of the available naked barley germplasm is unadapted to U.S. barley growing regions, and few genotypes have been selected to thrive under organic systems. The goal of this research was to characterize a set of spring naked barley genotypes for agronomic traits in the northern United States under organic conditions and estimate the degree of genotype × environment interaction (GEI). To achieve this goal, a multienvironment trial was conducted over 3 yr. Experiments were grown under organic conditions where traits including grain yield, test weight, plant height, heading date, and threshability were evaluated. Contributions of environment, genotype, and GEI to the phenotypic variance were calculated. In the tested germplasm, test weight, plant height, heading date, and threshability were found to have higher variance attributed to genotypic effects compared to GEI. Grain yield variance attributed to GEI was five times greater than that of genotype alone. Genotype + GEI (GGE) and location-grouping (LG) biplots showed two sets of environments where naked barley genotypes performed similarly. Sensitivity analysis by Finlay–Wilkinson regression found that grain yield was highly sensitive to changes in environment mean yield. These results show that selection for grain yield should be conducted within mega-environments to leverage GEI patterns. Heading date, plant height, test weight, and threshability can be selected across mega-environments.