Diversification of germplasm and genetic enhancement of barley for biotic and abiotic stress and malting quality for different agro-ecologies – 2021 Report
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Miguel Sanchez-Garcia, Safaa Kumari, Ashutosh Sarker, Braja Swain. (5/12/2021). Diversification of germplasm and genetic enhancement of barley for biotic and abiotic stress and malting quality for different agro-ecologies – 2021 Report.
Barley is a main staple crop and large areas in the world are devoted to the crop. In India, barley is an important crop cultivated since ancient times. The major barley growing states in India are Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Punjab, Madhya Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Jammu and Kashmir, West Bengal, Chhatishgarh and Sikkim. However, its area decreased in the country throughout the 20th century, mainly due to competition against wheat. As a result, barley is generally confined to marginal, problematic soils as a rainfed crop. The main usages of barley in the country are feed for livestock (ca. 65%), malt (20-30%) and food (less than 10%). An increased interest in barley is apparent in the country since the 90s. The use of malt barley as a cash crop coupled with the increased number of breweries in the country, the high frequency of drought events that can make barley more suitable as feed than other crops (i.e. sugar cane or oats) in drought prone environments and its nutritional quality as food have increased the interest over barley. However, to fulfil the needs, new germplasm with superior productivity, yield stability, disease resistant and fit for purpose needs to be developed. ICARDA has a long-lasting collaboration with the ICAR, IIWBR and other Indian research institutions that has resulted in a number of varieties released coming from ICARDA nurseries or having ICARDA germplasm as parental material. The interest of the NARS in ICARDA germplasm relies in its high productivity, diversity and resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses. In order to deliver fit-for-purpose varieties to the NARS that will ultimately reach the farmers, the Global Barley Breeding Program of ICARDA uses a multi-location approach to identify the best varieties combining the desired traits. Thus, combining the information from stress hot-spots in Morocco, Tunisia, Lebanon, India and Turkey among others, ICARDA is capable of selecting elite germplasm combining several traits of interest and with yield stability and specific adaptation. In the present report we show results of the efforts made in 2020 in India to provide the NARS with disease resistant high grain and straw yield genotypes as well as new diversity for Indian barley germplasm