Control of barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) development and senescence by the interaction between a chromosome six grain protein content locus, day length, and vernalization

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Regulatory processes controlling traits such as anthesis timing and whole-plant senescence are of primary importance for reproductive success and for crop quality and yield. It has previously been demonstrated that the presence of alleles associated with high grain protein content (GPC) at a locus on barley chromosome six leads to accelerated leaf senescence, and to strong (>10-fold) up-regulation of several genes which may be involved in senescence control. One of these genes (coding for a glycine-rich RNA-binding protein termed HvGR-RBP1) exhibits a high degree of similarity to Arabidopsis glycine-rich RNA-binding protein 7 (AtGRP7), which has been demonstrated to accelerate flowering under both long-day (LD) and short-day (SD) conditions, but not after vernalization. Development of near-isogenic barley lines, differing in the allelic state of the GPC locus, was compared from the seedling stage to maturity under both SD and LD and after vernalization under LD. Intriguingly, pre-anthesis plant development [measured by leaf emergence timing and pre-anthesis (sequential) leaf senescence] was enhanced in high-GPC germplasm. Differences were more pronounced under SD than under LD, but were eliminated by vernalization, associating observed effects with floral induction pathways. By contrast, differences in post-anthesis flag leaf and whole-plant senescence between low- and high-GPC germplasm persisted under all tested conditions, indicating that the GPC locus, possibly through HvGR-RBP1, impacts on both developmental stages. Detailed molecular characterization of this experimental system may allow the dissection of cross-talk between signalling pathways controlling early plant and floral development on one side, and leaf/whole-plant senescence on the other side.




Parrott, David L., Eric P. Downs, and Andreas M. Fischer. “Control of Barley (Hordeum Vulgare L.) Development and Senescence by the Interaction Between a Chromosome Six Grain Protein Content Locus, Day Length, and Vernalization.” Journal of Experimental Botany 63, no. 3 (November 16, 2011): 1329–1339. doi:10.1093/jxb/err360.
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