Drought-tolerant barley, going worldwide

July 31, 2010 at 7:34 am | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Examining germplasm samples before dispatch. Left to right: Dr Stefania Grando, head of the barley unit; Dr Adnan Al-Yassin, ICARDA’s new barley breeder; and Dr Maarten van Ginkel, DDG-Research

Drought tolerance is among the most important targets for ICARDA’s barley breeders; and they report that progress is encouraging. They have succeeded in developing advanced lines that can potentially yield up to 2-3 t/ha, with only 270 mm of rainfall. However, these materials must first be tested in different environments, to confirm improved yield and yield stability under stress. Last season, three kinds of barley genotypes were grown on more than 104,000 plots: spring barley adapted to stress-prone environments, spring barley for high-input environments, and winter barley. Following the harvest and data analysis, a number of ‘best-best’ lines have been identified, and will be tested by national research centers in their own countries. Seed samples are now being prepared and packed for shipment, in response to requests from researchers in 50 countries. ICARDA has a global mandate for barley improvement.

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