1 Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark2 Ecosystems Programme, Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark3 Kassel University4 University of Copenhagen5 MTT Agrifood Research6 Nordic Seed A/S7 Department of Environmental Engineering, Technical University of Denmark
Future barley cultivars will have to produce under the constraints of higher temperature in combination with increased concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide and ozone as a consequence of climate change. A diverse set of 167 spring barley genotypes was cultivated under elevated levels of temperature (+5 °C) and [CO2] (700 ppm) as single factors and in combination as well as under elevated [O3] (100–150 ppb) as single factor. The setting in general resembled changes projected by IPCC (AR5) to take place at the end of this century. A genome-wide association study (GWAS) was performed to identify markers for increased primary production under climate change conditions and reveal possible genes of interest. Phenotyped traits included grain yield, number of grains, number of ears per plant, aboveground vegetative biomass, harvest index and stability of the production parameters over the five applied treatments. The GWAS encompassed 7864 SNP markers (Illumina iselect), a compressed mixed linear model with the GAPIT package, and conservative validation of markers. A total of 60 marker-trait associations [−log10(P value) 2.97–5.58] were identified, e.g. grain yield under elevated temperature on barley chromosome 2H, static stability of grain yield on 7H, sites for exploitation of elevated [CO2] on 4H and 7H and associations under the two-factor treatment. Marker-trait associations identified from single-factor treatments were not retrieved, when elevated [CO2] and temperature were combined emphasizing the need for multifactor experiments. This GWA study identified markers and chromosome regions to be targeted in breeding for development of climate resilient cultivars.