[ASC-media] WEST WELCOMES IRANIAN INPUT TO BARLEY BREEDING: UWA/IOA Media Release

BRENDON CANT brendon at iinet.net.au
Wed Apr 23 04:07:14 CEST 2008


WEST WELCOMES IRANIAN INPUT TO BARLEY BREEDING<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns
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Quantifying how well cereals, such as barley and wheat, can tolerate drought
can be a measure of their true value to dryland agricultural systems, such
as those in Western Australia and Iran.

 

Although hemispheres apart, there are similarities and some of these were
recently assessed by Iranian PhD scholar Shahab Maddah-Hosseini while in WA
on a six month ATSE Crawford Fund training award from August 2007 to January
2008.

 

Supervised by The University of Western Australia (UWA) Chair in Agriculture
and Director of the Institute of Agriculture, Professor Kadambot Siddique
and CSIRO Plant Industry Principal Research Scientist, Dr Jairo Palta, he
found that grain filling, and therefore yield, in barley under terminal
drought conditions, varied according to variety.

 

He discovered that photosynthesis of the awns (part of the ear) was greater
than of the flag leaf in some of the Australian barley varieties Clipper,
Corvette, Stirling, Gairdner, Baudin and Vlamingh.

 

According to Professor Siddique, these finding have implications for
breeding barley cultivars to dryland environments, especially as a strategy
for adapting to climate change, which is already having an impact on
Australia and Iran.

 

UWA’s Research Station in Shenton Park has more than 11,000 lines,
comprising wild types, landraces, varieties and breeding lines, in its
general barley collection.

The 30 year old UWA barley germplasm enhancement project has contributed to
the development of several successful barely varieties in WA and nationally,
most recently providing parental lines used in the breeding of the malting
variety Vlamingh launched in February 2006.

Dr Palta said Mr Shahab Maddah-Hosseini’s training in WA focussed on
glasshouse experiments to determine the role of the vegetative parts of the
ear, particularly the awns, in providing carbon assimilates for grain
filling in barley under terminal soil water deficits.

 

“The experiments were designed to allow him to learn about glasshouse
facilities, particularly controlled temperature and humidity, methods to
induce and measure water deficit, techniques to measuring photosynthesis in
the vegetative parts of the ear and measuring and analysing dry matter
remobilisation,” Dr Palta said.

 

Mr Maddah-Hosseini visited sites at Geraldton, Morawa, Wongan Hills,
Brookton and Merredin in the WA grainbelt, where trials and crops of barley,
wheat, legumes and oilseeds were grown.

 

This allowed him to observe field experimental systems and techniques used
to evaluate adaptation of barley and wheat genotypes in areas limited by
water and nitrogen.

 

Professor Siddique and Dr Palta said skills developed by Mr Maddah-Hosseini
in WA would directly benefit his PhD research project at the Department of
Agronomy and Plant Breeding, University of Tehran, Karaj, Iran.

 

Mr Maddah-Hosseini’s discussions and interaction with supervisors, mentors
and researchers at CSIRO and UWA would also help him generate new research
ideas on drought tolerance of cereals in Iran.

 

“For Australia, his work will help future barley breeding programs in terms
of specifically targeting traits for superior adaptation to drying climatic
conditions,” Professor Siddique said.

 

“As his experimental glasshouse data requires further analysis, he will
maintain regular contact with his supervisors at UWA and CSIRO.

 

“Once this analysis is completed, we will help Mr Maddah-Hosseini prepare a
manuscript for submission and publication in an international scientific
journal.

 

“His visit to WA has strengthened UWA’s relationship with the University of
Tehran,” Professor Siddique said.

HYPERLINK "http://www.fnas.uwa.edu.au/"www.ioa.uwa.edu.au


 


Authorised by ‘Institute of Agriculture – UWA’ and issued on its behalf by


Brendon Cant & Associates, Tel 08 9384 1122


 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Professor Kadambot Siddique, Tel 08 6488 7012, Mobile 0411 155 396
Dr Jairo Palta, Tel 08 9333 6611

 

 

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