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Theor Appl Genet. 2004 Nov;109(7):1417-25. Epub 2004 Oct 26.

Identification of drought-inducible genes and differentially expressed sequence tags in barley.

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Department of Plant Breeding, Cornell University, 252 Emerson Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Drought limits cereal yields in several regions of the world and plant water status plays an important role in tolerance to drought. To investigate and understand the genetic and physiological basis of drought tolerance in barley, differentially expressed sequence tags (dESTs) and candidate genes for the drought response were mapped in a population of 167 F8 recombinant inbred lines derived from a cross between "Tadmor" (drought tolerant) and "Er/Apm" (adapted only to specific dry environments). One hundred sequenced probes from two cDNA libraries previously constructed from drought-stressed barley (Hordeum vulgare L., var. Tokak) plants and 12 candidate genes were surveyed for polymorphism, and 33 loci were added to a previously published map. Composite interval mapping was used to identify quantitative trait loci (QTL) associated with drought tolerance including leaf relative water content, leaf osmotic potential, osmotic potential at full turgor, water-soluble carbohydrate concentration, osmotic adjustment, and carbon isotope discrimination. A total of 68 QTLs with a limit of detection score > or =2.5 were detected for the traits evaluated under two water treatments and the two traits calculated from both treatments. The number of QTLs identified for each trait varied from one to 12, indicating that the genome contains multiple genes affecting different traits. Two candidate genes and ten differentially expressed sequences were associated with QTLs for drought tolerance traits.

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