“Barley landraces: Ecological heritage for edaphic stress adaptations and sustainable production” uri icon

abstract

  • Y Spontaneous mutation and natural selection pressure have contributed immensely to the genetic diversity of barley; a crop domesticated and grown since antiquity under diverse agro-ecological regions. Similarly, anthropogenic factors like cultural traditions and food preferences have also shaped the evolution of barley genetic diversity in the course of acclimatization under diverse ecosystems. Despite a rich genetic diversity, rapid depletion of barley genetic resources including the virtual extinction of several important landraces due to introduction of high yielding varieties and the loss of traditional farming systems remains a significant concern. Genetic gain in terms of higher grain yield and quality has obviously reduced the resilience of farmers' varieties and landraces to environmental stresses; that could in fact be explored as an important source of genes and traits for improving barley adaptability to adverse agro-climatic conditions. Unfortunately, landraces are not being fully exploited in barley breeding programs mainly due to lack of inadequate information. In this backdrop, this article attempts to present an overview of the historical trends in barley conservation and the plausible use of barley landraces in modern breeding programs to achieve sustainable production suited to the current needs.

publication date

  • 2020
  • 2020