Hordeum chilense, a native South American diploid wild barley, is one of the species of the genus Hordeum with a high potential for cereal breeding purposes, given its high crossability with other members of the Triticeae tribe. Hexaploid tritordeum (×Tritordeum Ascherson et Graebner, 2n=6×=42, AABBHchHch) is the fertile amphiploid obtained after chromosome doubling of hybrids between Hordeum chilense and durum wheat. Approaches used in the improvement of this crop have included crosses with hexaploid wheat to promote D/Hch chromosome substitutions. While this approach has been successful as was the case with triticale, it has also complicated the genetic composition of the breeding materials. Until now tritordeum lines were analyzed based on molecular cytogenetic techniques and screening with a small set of DNA markers. However, the recent development of DArT markers in H. chilense offers new possibilities to screen large number of accessions more efficiently.
Here, we have applied DArT markers to genotype composition in forty-six accessions of hexaploid tritordeum originating from different stages of tritordeum breeding program and to H. chilense-wheat chromosome addition lines to allow their physical mapping. Diversity analyses were conducted including dendrogram construction, principal component analysis and structure inference. Euploid and substituted tritordeums were clearly discriminated independently of the method used. However, dendrogram and Structure analyses allowed the clearest discrimination among substituted tritordeums. The physically mapped markers allowed identifying these groups as substituted tritordeums carrying the following disomic substitutions (DS): DS1D (1Hch), DS2D (2Hch), DS5D (5Hch), DS6D (6Hch) and the double substitution DS2D (2Hch), DS5D (5Hch). These results were validated using chromosome specific EST and SSR markers and GISH analysis.
In conclusion, DArT markers have proved to be very useful to detect chromosome substitutions in the tritordeum breeding program and thus they are expected to be equally useful to detect translocations both in the tritordeum breeding program and in the transference of H. chilense genetic material in wheat breeding programs.