SAID ABDUL WALI DADSHANI1, ANNETTE WEIDNER2, GERHARD H. BUCK-SORLIN3
1University of Bonn, Institute of Plant Nutrition, Germany
2Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK), Germany
3Brandenburgische Technische Universität (BTU) Cottbus, Dept. of Computer Sciences, Germany
Salinity is an important limitation to crop production in many agricultural systems and worldwide vast areas of arable land are lost every year to salinisation, particularly in arid regions. Management options are needed to sustain agricultural use of affected areas, to decrease famine hazards, and to reclaim saline soils. Those option include genotypes sufficiently resistant to salinity to off-set the farmers' investment in reclaiming the land.
Varying degrees of salinity tolerance have been observed in many plant species, with barley being one of the best-known salt tolerant crops. The physiology of salt stress has been intensively investigated for various crops, but relatively little is known about the number, the location and inheritance of genes that are responsible for higher salt tolerance. Linking the physiological with the genetic information is a major objective of modern plant breeding. The objective of this study is to detect the genetic basis of salt tolerance traits in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) using a number of Afghan barley cultivars and the Oregon Wolfe Barley (OWB) mapping population, well saturated with molecular markers for QTL mapping. Afghanistan soils, like in many other countries in semi-arid regions, suffer from soil salinity on a large scale. Salt tolerant barley grown as forage grass may provide a basis to control both soil erosion and salinity while providing some benefits for cattle production.
Initial tests with different NaCl concentrations revealed that the germination process of the OWB population was highly responsive to the salt concentration and genotypes varied substantially in their susceptibility to salinity. Following the QTL analyses, field trials in Afghanistan are planned to validate the trait loci identified in the initial tests and to identify local genotypes carrying desired traits for both cultivation and breeding.
Keywords: Afghanistan, erosion control, gene mapping, Hordeum vulgare, oWB, plant breeding, soil salinity