QTLs for stomatal and photosynthetic traits related to salinity tolerance in barley

Xiaohui Liu, Yun Fan, Michelle Mak, Mohammad Babla, Paul Holford, Feifei Wang, Guang Chen, Grace Scott, Gang Wang, Sergey Shabala, Meixue Zhou, Zhong Hua Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

49 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Stomata regulate photosynthesis and transpiration, and these processes are critical for plant responses to abiotic stresses such as salinity. A barley double haploid population with 108 lines derived from a cross between CM72 (salt-tolerant) and Gairdner (salt-sensitive) was used to detect quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with stomatal and photosynthetic traits related to salinity tolerance. Results: A total of 11 significant QTLs (LOD > 3.0) and 11 tentative QTLs (2.5 < LOD < 3.0) were identified. These QTLs are distributed on all the seven chromosomes, except 5H and explain 9.5-17.3% of the phenotypic variation. QTLs for biomass, intercellular CO2 concentration, transpiration rate and stomatal conductance under control conditions co-localised together. A QTL for biomass also co-located with one for transpiration rate under salinity stress. A linkage was found between stomatal pore area and gas exchange. A QTL for salinity tolerance also co-localised with QTLs for grain yield and biomass on chromosome 3H. Based on the draft barley genome, the candidate genes for salinity tolerance at this locus are proposed. Conclusions: The lack of major QTLs for gas exchange and stomatal traits under control and saline conditions indicates a complex relationship between salinity and leaf gas exchange due to the fact that these complex quantitative traits are under the control of multiple genes.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9
JournalBMC Genomics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2017
Externally publishedYes


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