Alberta Barley

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Breeding two-row feed and malting barley varieties

Project lead:
Dr. Aaron Beattie
Assistant Professor, Plant Sciences
University of Saskatchewan

Timeline: April 2013 – March 2018

Partners:
AB-AAFC-BMBRI-WGRF

Alberta Barley funding: $51,206
Total funding from other partners: $686,796

Benefits for barley farmers
The barley varieties produced through this project will emphasize good lodging resistance (a particularly large issue within some regions of the province) and incorporation of scald resistance (a disease that affects many Alberta barley farmers).

Summary
The project will produce malt and feed barley varieties with improved agronomic performance (e.g., yield, disease resistance, lodging resistance, lower grain protein) and quality attributes for both the malting and brewing industry (e.g., a range of malting profiles to meet the needs of craft and large brewers) and the feed industry (e.g., good grain quality).

Developments
Over the past year we performed 63 crosses devoted to producing two-row malting and feed varieties. We advanced 59 F2, 20 F3, 65 F4 and 3 F5 populations in Saskatoon, sent 63 F1, 59 F3 and 20 F4 populations to our winter nursery in New Zealand, grew 15,000 F5 hills, 2,700 F6 lines in microplots and grew 816 F7 and F8 lines in yield trials. We also conducted ~4,000 grain quality analyses, ~19,000 malt analyses, collected ~26,000 molecular marker data points and sent ~25,000 lines for disease evaluation.

In 2015 we also received support to register TR13812, a two-row malting variety which shows very good yield potential, strong straw and very good malt quality. This line was a collaborative breeding effort between the CDC and Sapporo Breweries. This line carries the LOXless null mutation and is thus targeted for use by Sapporo Breweries. Canterra was provided the marketing rights. We hope that this line will provide better returns to growers who are involved with the closed-loop production of LOXless malting barley varieties, while meeting the needs of Sapporo.

Results
The goals of this project were to produce malt and feed barley varieties with improved agronomic performance (e.g. yield, disease resistance, lodging resistance, lower grain protein) and quality attributes for both the malting brewing industry (e.g. a range of malting profiles to meet needs of craft and large brewers) and feed industry (e.g. good grain quality).The varieties produced will emphasize good lodging resistance (a particularly large issue within some regions of the province) and incorporation of scald resistance (a disease that affects many Alberta barley producers).

Over the past year we performed 59 crosses devoted to producing two-row malting and feed varieties.  We advanced 66 F2, 31 F3, 70 F4 and 31 F5 populations in Saskatoon, sent 59 F1, 66 F3 and 70 F5 populations to our winter nursery in New Zealand, grew 15,000 F5 and F6 hills, 3,521 F6 and F7 lines in microplots and grew 588 F7 and F8 lines in yield trials.  We also conducted ~17,000 grain quality analyses, ~16,000 malt analyses, collected ~68,000 molecular marker data points and sent ~26,000 lines for disease evaluation.

We had seven 1st year and one 2nd year entries in the 2017 Western Co-operative Two-Row Barley Registration Trial, along with 2 entries in the Collaborative Malting Trials.

We were able to receive registration support in February 2018 for a two-row malting barley line, TR15155, which shows excellent yield potential, strong straw and a malt quality profile suited for the craft malting industry (i.e. low enzymatic power). This is the first line from the CDC targeted to meet the needs of the craft brewing industry.  Marketing rights for this yet to be named variety were given to SeCan.

We measured beta-glucanase on 1,182 lines.A bi-parental population derived from CDC Meredith x CDC Kindersley was grown at three locations over two years to evaluate malt beta-glucanase activity and map QTL associated with this trait.  The population was genotyped using the barley Infinium iSelect 9K genotyping beadchip and the DArTseq method.  Evaluation of phenotypic data indicated that genotypes were a significant source of variation, while location, year and interaction terms were not, so QTL analysis was done on combined means for each genotype in the population.  Three unique QTLs were identified for malt beta-glucanase activity located on chromosomes 2H, 6H, and 7H.  The 6H QTL resided near an endoglucanase 6 gene, which is part of a family of hydrolases which includes β-glucosidases and β-ᴅ-glucan exohydrolases.  The QTL explained approximately 58% of the variation for this trait.  This QTL is being investigated further to determine its usefulness in marker-assisted selection applications.

The BM0354-302 (resistant) x TR11127 (susceptible) population was screened for septoria resistance in greenhouse evaluations using septoria isolate (ND97-15) provided by Dr. Brian Steffenson (University of Minnesota).  Results indicated the population is segregating for one gene responsible for resistance.  The population was also genotyped using the barley Infinium iSelect 50K genotyping beadchip in order to identify molecular marker linked to this resistance gene.  Marker JHI-Hv50k-2016-4156, located at position 9.6 cM on chromosome 1H, was identified below the lone QTL associated with resistance.  This marker explained 92% of the variation observed from this trait and is likely the Rsp2 resistance gene.  Conversion of this marker to a TaqMan assay will make selection and incorporation of this trait into future varieties more efficient and cost-effective.

We measured DMS & DMSP content on 126 lines. Based on a replicated, multiyear trial it was found that genotype and year are the biggest factors affecting these compounds.  CDC Fraser continues to show low levels of DMS & DMSP, as do several other 1st year 2RCoop entries from the CDC.  This data allows the CDC to select for lines with low levels of these compounds.

Over the course of this project we registered (or received support for registration) four malting barley varieties.  CDC Fraser (TR12135) is a two-row malting barley line which shows very good yield potential and strong straw which should provide better returns to growers.  In addition to its very good malt quality, CDC Fraser has lower DMS & DMS-P levels than other varieties available in Western Canada which should be of value to brewers as this may result in cost-savings by reducing the boiling time required to remove DMS & DMS-P off-flavours.  CDC Goldstar (TR13812) is a two-row malting barley line which shows very good yield potential, strong straw and very good malt quality. This line carries the LOXless null mutation, a unique quality traits which improves beer shelf-life.  CDC Copper (TR14150) is a two-row malting barley line which shows very good yield potential, strong straw and very good malt quality. This line also carries excellent scald resistance which resulted from work carried out under Activity#14.  This is the first malting variety released in Canada with excellent scald resistance.   We hope that this line will provide better returns to growers who are involved with malting barley production in Alberta and western Saskatchewan where scald is more of an issue.  Finally, TR15155 is a two-row malting barley line which shows excellent yield potential, strong straw and a malt quality profile suited for the craft malting industry (i.e. low enzymatic power). This is the first line from the CDC targeted to meet the needs of the craft brewing industry.

Updated July 6th, 2018