Screening of HvNAM-B1 gene polymorphism, grain nutrient content and seed size in 80 Scandinavian barley cultivars
Micronutrient malnutrition is a leading worldwide health problem that affects billions of people particularly in the developing countries resulting in serious health conditions. The domestication of crops produced high yield and larger seed size but with a reduction in nutritious quality. The locus NAM or Gpc-1 affects both the seed size and nutrient content in wheat and barley. A non-functional allele of the gene increases the seed size but at the expense of protein and micronutrient content. However, this gene was found to be lost in wheat during the early domestication resulting in lower nutrient content. Therefore, the selection for high yield has lead to lower grain nutrients. Our aim of the present study is to investigate when the selection for yield occured in barley and to check the existence of the wild type allele in the 19th century of landrace barley crops. In addition, to analyse the barley grain concentration of protein, iron and zinc among the landrace and cultivars from various time periods of northern Europe. The grain nutrient concentration of Nitrogen, Iron and Zinc did not show significant difference among the investigated 80 Scandinavian barley accessions. The grain nutrient concentration did not correlate with the seed size and chlorophyll content. The polymorphism was not observed among the allelic diversity of HvNAM-1 gene indicating that the NAM-B1 gene still prevails in the 19th century barley cultivars.
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