Recognizing the danger due to a permanent risk of loss of the genetic variability of cultivated plants and their wild relatives in response to changing environmental conditions and cultural practices, plant ex situ genebank collections were created since the beginning of the last century. World-wide more than 6 million accessions have been accumulated of which more than 90% are stored as seeds. Research on seed longevity was performed in barley maintained for up to 34 years in the seed store of the German ex situ genebank of the Leibniz-Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research in Gatersleben. A high intraspecific variation was detected in those natural aged accessions. In addition three doubled haploid barley mapping populations being artificial aged were investigated to study the inheritance of seed longevity. Quantitative trait locus (QTL) mapping was based on a transcript map. Major QTLs were identified on chromosomes 2H, 5H (two) and 7H explaining a phenotypic variation of up to 54%. A sequence homology search was performed to derive the putative function of the genes linked to the QTLs.
- oryza-sativa l.