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Genome. 2002 Jun;45(3):584-91.

Hordoindolines are associated with a major endosperm-texture QTL in barley (Hordeum vulgare).

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Department of Plant Sciences and Plant Pathology, Agricultural BioSciences Facility, Montana State University, Bozeman 59717-3150, USA.


Endosperm texture has a tremendous impact on the end-use quality of wheat (Triticum aestivum L.). Cultivars of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), a close relative of wheat, also vary measurably in grain hardness. However, in contrast to wheat, little is known about the genetic control of barley grain hardness. Puroindolines are endosperm-specific proteins found in wheat and its relatives. In wheat, puroindoline sequence variation controls the majority of wheat grain texture variation. Hordoindolines, the puroindoline homologs of barley, have been identified and mapped. Recently, substantial allelic variation was found for hordoindolines among commercial barley cultivars. Our objective was to determine the influence of hordoindoline allelic variation upon grain hardness and dry matter digestibility in the 'Steptoe' x 'Morex' mapping population. This population is segregating for hordoindoline allele type, which was measured by a HinA/HinB/Gsp composite marker. One-hundred and fifty lines of the 'Steptoe' x 'Morex' population were grown in a replicated field trial. Grain hardness was estimated by near-infrared reflectance (NIR) and measured using the single kernel characterization system (SKCS). Variation attributable to the HinA/HinB/Gsp locus averaged 5.7 SKCS hardness units (SKCS U). QTL analysis revealed the presence of several areas of the genome associated with grain hardness. The largest QTL mapped to the HinA/HinB/Gsp region on the short arm of chomosome 7 (5H). This QTL explains 22% of the SKCS hardness difference observed in this study. The results indicate that the Hardness locus is present in barley and implicates the hordoindolines in endosperm texture control.

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