The Spanish barley core collection

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Spanish barleys constitute a germplasm group of particular interest for breeding purposes, as Spain has been proposed as a possible centre of origin of the crop. The Spanish National Germplasm Bank (Banco Nacional de Germoplasma, BNG), holds a collection of about 2000 barley accessions, mostly landraces collected in Spain prior to extensive introduction of modern varieties. The objective of this work is to create a core collection of barleys representative of old barley genotypes grown in Spain. The core collection will be constituted by three groups of germplasm: successful old varieties (15); entries in common with previously existing barley core collections (15); and 2-row (8) and 6-row (122) entries from the BNG, for a total of 160 entries. Entries were allocated by stratified sampling in agro-ecological uniform zones of barley cultivation in Spain. Classification of agro-ecological regions for barley was based on historical yield records for Spanish provinces. The number of entries for each region was determined in proportion to the logarithm of historical barley acreage. Final choice of accessions within provinces tried to maximize the diversity and avoid duplications by looking at passport data, and to agronomic evaluation data available for a group of about 900 accessions.

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