Characterisation of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) landraces from desert climates of Iran
Keywords:Hordeum vulgare, Barley, Landrace, Genetic Diversity, Desert Climates, Drought
Iran is considered as one of the diversity and distribution centres of the barley crop. The local barley landraces are well adapted and widely cultivated in Iran. Most of these landraces, which were cultivated in desert climates, yield satisfactorily despite environmental stresses. Even though there is broad genetic diversity of barley adapted landraces of the Iran deserts, no comprehensive research has yet been conducted to describe the current diversity. In this study, 419 landraces that were collected from the desert climates of Iran were evaluated in the Sistan region. The landraces were irrigated at only three stages, at planting, rosette, and stem elongation, and then all landraces were not irrigated again. The studied landraces showed substantial diversity in phenology, yield and its components. Correlation analysis findings showed a strong positive correlation between grain yield and biological yield, harvest index, 100-grain weight, number of grains per spike, grain weight per spike, peduncle length, and days to maturity. Canonical correlation showed that phenological and quantitative traits are crucial to enhancing yield while playing a different role. Results of the path analysis revealed that biological yield, spike grain number and plant height are the critical components of grain yield enhancement. Geographical cluster analysis divided the landraces into eight groups, each group being morphologically distinct and partly related to the particular geographical regions. This study identified several distinct six-row and two-row landraces with high yields that are suggested for utilisation in barley breeding programmes.