Identification of traits and QTLs contributing to salt tolerance in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)

L. Nguyen Viet Long

Research output: Thesisinternal PhD, WU


 Salinity is the most severe abiotic stress perceived by plants and affects about 800 million hectares of land worldwide, including 20% of the world’s highly productive irrigated land. Significant crop yield losses are observed due to salinity. Salinization is increasing because of poor irrigation management and climate change. Improving salt tolerance in crops is for these reasons an important target for plant breeding in the near future. However, salinity tolerance in plants is not easy to breed for due to its interaction with many physiological processes controlled by many genes and their interaction with the environment. Barley is a good model crop to study different mechanisms conferring salt tolerance in cereals. A traditional QTL mapping approach in combination with a new association mapping method allowed us to efficiently explore the genetics and genetic diversity of salt tolerance in barley. Improvements of the association mapping technology highly increased detection power and mapping accuracy. The traits and QTLs identified in this thesis point out both osmotic and ionic stress tolerant genes as important targets for salt tolerance breeding. This thesis provides tools to plant breeders for the application of marker-assisted introgression breeding of salt tolerance genes in their breeding programs. Some QTLs were found to be syntenic with the important QTLs/genes for salt tolerance found in wheat and rice such as Na+ and K+ transporter gene families. Other QTLs were new and suggest the presence of novel genes that play an important role in plant ion homeostasis, transportation of Cl- and Ca2+ and osmotic tolerance. We demonstrated that association mapping can be a powerful approach to dissect the complexity of salt tolerance in barley. The newly available high-density SNP map of barley and the barley genome sequence in the near future further increases the accuracy of mapping studieswith the association panel and will greatly facilitate the cloning of the genes underlying salt tolerance in barley. This thesis thus contributes to better a understanding of the physiological and genetic basis of salt tolerance and improved breeding strategies for the development of salt tolerant varieties.


Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Wageningen University
  • Visser, Richard, Promotor
  • van der Linden, Gerard, Co-promotor
  • Dolstra, Oene, Co-promotor
Award date2 Nov 2012
Place of PublicationS.l.
Print ISBNs9789461734099
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • hordeum vulgare
  • barley
  • salt tolerance
  • quantitative trait loci
  • growth
  • plant composition
  • genotypes
  • chromosomes
  • homeostasis
  • plant breeding

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    Identification of traits and QTLs contributing to salt tolerance in barley

    Nguyen Viet Long, L., Dolstra, O., Visser, R. & van der Linden, G.


    Project: PhD

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