The climate crisis is impacting agroecosystems and threatening food security of millions of smallholder farmers. Understanding the potential for current and future climatic adaptation of local crop agrobiodiversity may guide breeding efforts and support resilience of agriculture. Here, we combine a genomic and climatic characterization of a large collection of traditional barley varieties from Ethiopia, a staple for local smallholder farmers cropping in challenging environments. We find that the genomic diversity of barley landraces can be partially traced back to geographic and environmental diversity of the landscape. We employ a machine learning approach to model Ethiopian barley adaptation to current climate and to identify areas where its existing diversity may not be well adapted in future climate scenarios. We use this information to identify optimal trajectories of assisted migration compensating to detrimental effects of climate change, finding that Ethiopian barley diversity bears opportunities for adaptation to the climate crisis. We then characterize phenology traits in the collection in two common garden experiments in Ethiopia, using genome-wide association approaches to identify genomic loci associated with timing of flowering and maturity of the spike. We combine this information with genotype–environment associations finding that loci involved in flowering time may also explain environmental adaptation. Our data show that integrated genomic, climatic, and phenotypic characterizations of agrobiodiversity may provide breeding with actionable information to improve local adaptation in smallholder farming systems.

The genomic and bioclimatic characterization of Ethiopian barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) unveils challenges and opportunities to adapt to a changing climate

Leonardo Caproni
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
;
Basazen Fantahun Lakew
Writing – Review & Editing
;
Seyoum Asefie Kassaw;Mara Miculan;Jemal Seid Ahmed;Simona Grazioli;Yosef Gebrehawaryat Kidane;Carlo Fadda;Mario Enrico Pe
Conceptualization
;
Matteo Dell'Acqua
Conceptualization
2023-01-01

Abstract

The climate crisis is impacting agroecosystems and threatening food security of millions of smallholder farmers. Understanding the potential for current and future climatic adaptation of local crop agrobiodiversity may guide breeding efforts and support resilience of agriculture. Here, we combine a genomic and climatic characterization of a large collection of traditional barley varieties from Ethiopia, a staple for local smallholder farmers cropping in challenging environments. We find that the genomic diversity of barley landraces can be partially traced back to geographic and environmental diversity of the landscape. We employ a machine learning approach to model Ethiopian barley adaptation to current climate and to identify areas where its existing diversity may not be well adapted in future climate scenarios. We use this information to identify optimal trajectories of assisted migration compensating to detrimental effects of climate change, finding that Ethiopian barley diversity bears opportunities for adaptation to the climate crisis. We then characterize phenology traits in the collection in two common garden experiments in Ethiopia, using genome-wide association approaches to identify genomic loci associated with timing of flowering and maturity of the spike. We combine this information with genotype–environment associations finding that loci involved in flowering time may also explain environmental adaptation. Our data show that integrated genomic, climatic, and phenotypic characterizations of agrobiodiversity may provide breeding with actionable information to improve local adaptation in smallholder farming systems.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11382/551532
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