Differences in Stem Soluble Carbohydrate Contents among Recombinant Chromosome Substitution Lines (RCSLs) of Barley under Drought in a Mediterranean–type Environment
¹Institute of Natural Resources and Agrobiology of Salamanca, IRNASA–CSIC, Apartado 257, 37071 Salamanca, Spain; e–mail: email@example.com
²Faculty of Agricultural Sciences, University of Talca, Casilla 747, Talca, Chile
³Instituto de Investigaciones Agropecuarias CRI-Quilamapu, Casilla 426, Chillán, Chile
Drought is one of the major abiotic stresses that dramatically threaten the global food supply and it is becoming an increasingly severe problem in many regions of the world, mainly in Mediterranean areas and/or climates. This study investigates the effect of drought on the stem soluble carbohydrate content and its role in grain filling in different barley genotypes –four recombinant chromosome substitution lines (RCSLs) and the recurrent parent cv. Harrington, which had been growing in two contrasting Mediterranean environments in central Chile. At anthesis, drought stress increased the stem glucose and fructose contents in lines 76 and 78 and fructans in all the genotypes. At maturity, in non-stressed plants the soluble carbohydrate content in the stem decreased, suggesting a mobilization of carbohydrates from the stem into the grain. Drought increased the stem content of fructose, sucrose and fructans in all genotypes. The accumulation of fructans was higher in RCSLs as compared to Harrington, providing evidence that the introgression of the wild ancestor (Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum) into cv. Harrington increases the terminal drought tolerance of barley. Line 89 showed the maximal content of fructans and it could be considered as the most tolerant to terminal drought of all RCSLs. However, this genotype showed the lowest grain weight and yield, indicating that is the most susceptible line of those referred to as grain yield.