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Agnese Gailīte, Anita Gaile, Ilze Gaile, Angelika Voronova, Ilze Veinberga, Aina Kokare and Dainis Edgars Ruņģis

Rye (Secale cereale L.) is an important grain crop in Latvia, where it is mainly used for baking rye bread, which is a popular staple. However, the area under rye cultivation in Latvia is small, and the majority of varieties planted are foreign. In 1937, almost 290 000 ha of rye were planted, while in 2011, only 28 000 ha were planted, or ~5% of the area planted with cereals. The Latvian rye genetic resources collection contains nine accessions, including old and new cultivars, landraces and one repatriated accession, which was previously held in the N. I. Vavilov Research Institute of Plant Industry collection. A set of descriptors has been developed for rye, and field evaluations of the Latvian rye collection have been started. A set of simple sequence repeat (SSR) markers has been utilised for genetic fingerprinting of the collection. The initial genetic results indicate that the Latvian rye collection contains a high degree of genetic diversity. Analyses are continuing in order to more fully characterise the collection both phenotypically and genetically.

Open access

Dainis Ruņgis, Ilze Gaile, Ilze Veinberga, Sanita Zute, Vija Strazdiņa, Māra Bleidere and Arta Kronberga

Use of DNA markers for cereal line uniformity assessment

Prior to the registration of a new variety, it is required to undergo Distinctness, Uniformity and Stability (DUS) testing. Preparing a newly developed variety to meet the requirements of DUS testing is a lengthy process, particularly regarding aspects of uniformity and stability. Field testing of a large number of lines is time and resource intensive. In addition, the expression of certain traits may be influenced by environmental conditions. The use of DNA markers may allow rapid assessment of the level of genetic diversity within a particular line or variety, and to remove individuals that are genetically differentiated, thus accelerating the homogenisation of a newly developed variety. In this study, we utilised AFLP and the iPBS marker techniques to assess genetic variation within advanced breeding lines of several cereal species (triticale, wheat, barley). The combined use of molecular and morphological selection over three years of analysis and selection resulted in the reduction of genetic diversity within breeding lines.