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This article in CS

  1. Vol. 34 No. 4, p. 927-932
    Received: May 24, 1993

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Assessment of Western Canadian Barleys of Historical Interest: II. Morphology and Phenology

  1. Patricia E. Jedel  and
  2. James H. Helm
  1. Alberta Agriculture Crop Research, Field Crop Development Centre, Bag #47, Lacombe, Alberta T0C 1S0



Assessment of morphological and phenological traits is essential if these traits are to be used as selection criteria in breeding programs. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role several morphological and phenological traits play in the productivity of spring barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) cultivars released from 1910 to 1987 in western Canada. We were interested in evaluating these traits for use in a barley ideotype for the western Canadian prairies. Twenty 6- and 2-rowed feed and malt barley cultivars were tested at Botha, Lacombe, and Olds, Alberta, Canada, in 1989 and 1990. Modern cultivars had shorter intervals between tiller appearance, were shorter in stature, and had later stem elongation, anthesis and maturity than older cultivars. The interval between tiller appearance decreased by 0.02 to 0.06 d yr−1. Plant height decreased by 0.14 to 0.29 cm yr−1. Spike length increased by 0.015 to 0.018 cm yr2212;1, although significant increases were not expressed in all location-years. Days-to-stem-elongation increased by 0.06 to 0.11 d yr−1; days-to-anthesis, by 0.04 to 0.10 d yr−1; and days-to-maturity by 0.04 to 0.22 d yr−1. Two- and six-rowed cultivars were morphologically distinct but were phenologically similar. Future improvements in western Canadian spring barleys may be achieved through lengthening the prestem elongation period, and increasing culm diameters. In two-rowed cultivars, increasing leaf widths may also be advantageous. Morphological and phenological traits have changed in association with historical yield increases and may be used to help define a barley ideotype for the western Canadian prairies.

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Copyright © 1994. Crop Science Society of America, Inc.Copyright © 1994 by the Crop Science Society of America, Inc.