QTL analysis of malting quality traits in two barley populations
Selection for malting quality traits is a major breeding objective for barley breeding programs. With molecular markers linked to loci affecting these traits, this selection can be undertaken at an earlier stage of the breeding program than is possible using conventional tests. Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with malting quality traits were mapped in 2 populations derived from parents with elite malting quality. Progeny from an Arapiles/Franklin population grown in 4 environments and an Alexis/Sloop population grown in 5 environments were tested for grain protein percentage, α-amylase activity, diastatic power, hot water extract, wort viscosity, wort β-glucan, β-glucanase, and free α-amino acids. QTL analysis was performed using a one-stage approach, which allowed for modelling of spatial variation in the field, and in each phase of the malting quality analysis in the laboratory. QTLs for malting quality traits were detected on all chromosomes and for both populations. Few of these QTLs were significant in all of the environments, indicating that QTL × environment interactions were important. There were many coincident QTLs for traits that are expected to be related such as diastatic power and α-amylase activity, wort β-glucan and wort viscosity and for some traits that are not expected to be related such as hot water extract and malt viscosity.