Brittle rachis is a head shattering mechanism of barley. Two tightly linked complementary genes, btr1 and btr2, were believed to control the non-brittle rachis trait. Position of non-brittle rachis loci btr1btr2 on the short arm of Chromosome 3 was investigated using RFLP markers. Two approaches were employed. First, a Hordeum vulgare subsp. spontaneum fragment that confers brittleness in a cv. Bowman near isogenic line was detected. This fragment is 18-33 cM in length and contains MWG798B, ABG057, MWG014, BCD706 and KFP216 markers of the short arm of Chromosome 3. In the second approach, position of btr1 locus in a H. vulgare subsp. spontaneum (Wadi Qilt 23-38) × H. vulgare subsp. vulgare (cv. Harrington) cross was detected using a selective genotyping approach in BC2F1 generation. F-tests and analysis of genotypic compositions of BC2F1 lines showed that btr1 locus, and supposedly the tightly linked btr2 locus, is in 4.3 cM KFP216-RisP114 interval of short arm of Chromosome 3. Results also yielded clues for the presence of at least two additional loci that affect the non-brittle rachis trait. Allelism, tests using genotypes with known non-brittle rachis gene compositions provided additional evidence for presence of such loci.
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