Aluminium (Al) toxicity is one of the main factors restricting barley production in acidic soils. The utilisation of barley cultivars tolerant to Al is one of the most economic strategies for expanding barley production in these soils. Among barley genotypes, the cultivar Dayton has been reported to exhibit the highest level of Al tolerance. The gene conferring Al tolerance in Dayton, Alp, has been mapped to the long arm of chromosome 4H using RFLP markers. However, such markers are not useful for routine marker-assisted selection in breeding programs due to the cost and labour associated with their use. To increase the ease by which marker-assisted selection can be conducted for Alp, we sought to identify microsatellite markers linked to this gene. Several such markers that flank Alp were identified in a mapping population from a cross between Dayton and Harlan Hybrid. The most tightly linked microsatellite markers, HVM68 and Bmag353, flank Alp and are 5.3 cM and 3.1 cM from this locus, respectively. The linkage between Bmag353 and Alp was validated in a separate F3 population derived from the cross between Dayton and F6ant28B48-16, where this microsatellite marker was found to predict the Al tolerance phenotype with over 95% accuracy. Allele diversity for the 3 most tightly linked microsatellite markers was evaluated among 40 barley genotypes currently used in Australian barley breeding programs. The high levels of polymorphism detected among the genotypes with the markers indicated that the microsatellite markers, especially Bmag353 and Bmac310, will be broadly useful for marker-assisted selection of Alp in breeding programs seeking to improve Al tolerance.
Raman, H., Karakousis, A., Moroni, J. S., Raman, R., Read, B. J., Garvin, D. F., Kochian, L. V., & Sorrells, M. E. (2003). Development and allele diversity of microsatellite markers linked to the aluminium tolerance gene Alp in barley. Crop and Pasture Science, 54(12), 1315-1321. https://doi.org/10.1071/AR02226