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Genetic diversity in developmental responses to light spectral quality in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)

AuthorsMonteagudo Gálvez, Arantxa; Kiss, Tibor; Mayer, Marianna; Casas Cendoya, Ana María ; Igartua Arregui, Ernesto ; Karsai, Ildikó
Gene expression
Light quality
Issue Date12-May-2020
PublisherBioMed Central
CitationMonteagudo A, Kiss T, Mayer M, Casas AM, Igartua E. Genetic diversity in developmental responses to light spectral quality in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.). Plant Biology 20 (1): 207 (2020)
AbstractAbstract Background Plants use light wavelength, intensity, direction and duration to predict imminent seasonal changes and to determine when to initiate physiological and developmental processes. Among them, crop responses to light are not fully understood. Here, we study how light quality affects barley development, using two broad-spectrum light sources, metal halide (M) and fluorescent (F) lamps. Eleven varieties with known allelic variants for the major flowering time genes were evaluated under controlled conditions (long days, same light intensity). Two experiments were carried out with fully-vernalized plants: 1) control treatments (M, F); 2) shifting chambers 10 days after the start of the experiment (MF, FM). Results In general, varieties developed faster under longer exposure to M conditions. The greatest differences were due to a delay promoted by F light bulbs, especially in the time to first node appearance and until the onset of stem elongation. Yield related-traits as the number of seeds were also affected by the conditions experienced. However, not each variety responded equally, and they could be classified in insensitive and sensitive to light quality. Expression levels of flowering time genes HvVRN1, HvFT1 and PPD-H1 were high in M, while HvFT3 and HvVRN2 were higher under F conditions. The expression under shift treatments revealed also a high correlation between HvVRN1 and PPD-H1 transcript levels. Conclusions The characterization of light quality effects has highlighted the important influence of the spectrum on early developmental stages, affecting the moment of onset of stem elongation, and further consequences on the morphology of the plant and yield components. We suggest that light spectra control the vernalization and photoperiod genes probably through the regulation of upstream elements of signalling pathways. The players behind the different responses to light spectra found deserve further research, which could help to optimize breeding strategies.
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