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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

The Winter-Type Allele of HvCEN Is Associated With Earliness Without Severe Yield Penalty in Icelandic Spring Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)

Goransson, Magnus; Sigurdardottir, Thorbjorg Helga; Lillemo, Morten; Bengtsson, Therese; Hallsson, Jon Hallsteinn


Icelandic barley genotypes have shown extreme earliness both in flowering and maturity compared to other north European genotypes, whereas earliness is a key trait in adapting barley to northern latitudes. Four genes were partially re-sequenced, which are Ppd-H1, HvCEN, HvELF3, and HvFT1, to better understand the mechanisms underlying this observed earliness. These genes are all known to play a part in the photoperiod response. The objective of this study is to correlate allelic diversity with flowering time and yield data from Icelandic field trials. The resequencing identified two to three alleles at each locus which resulted in 12 haplotype combinations. One haplotype combination containing the winter-type allele of Ppd-H1 correlated with extreme earliness, however, with a severe yield penalty. A winter-type allele in HvCEN in four genotypes correlated with earliness combined with high yield. Our results open the possibility of marker-assisted pyramiding as a rapid way to develop varieties with a shortened time from sowing to flowering under the extreme Icelandic growing conditions and possibly in other arctic or sub-arctic regions.


barley; flowering time; yield; adaptation; HvCEN; Ppd-H1; HvFT1; HvELF3

Published in

Frontiers in Plant Science
2021, volume: 12, article number: 720238

Authors' information

Goransson, Magnus
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Sigurdardottir, Thorbjörg Helga
Agricultural University of Iceland (LBHI)
Lillemo, Morten
Norwegian University of Life Sciences
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Plant Breeding
Hallsteinn Hallsson, Jón
Agricultural University of Iceland (LBHI)

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

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