Evaluation and selection for traits related to lodging resistance in barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)
Lodging in barley, due to loss of root anchorage or stem breakage, causes yield losses, lowered grain quality and reduced harvesting efficiency. Lodging is a quantitative trait, highly affected by environment, and has generally a low heritability. Selection for a combination of easily measurable traits related to lodging is, therefore, a much more feasible option than direct selection. This study examined the relationship among various culm traits and field lodging. Recurrent selection for culm breaking resistance was also applied to two breeding populations. Peduncle breaking resistance was positively correlated with peduncle weight, diameter, weight/length and weight/lengthdiameter. Lodging was reduced by shorter peduncles and increased peduncle diameter, peduncle weight/length, peduncle weight/lengthdiameter and peduncle breaking resistance. Heritability was moderate for most traits. The results support the use of recurrent selection as an effective breeding method to improve traits affecting straw strength, ultimately, leading to increased stem lodging resistance in barley.