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  • 1 University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (IBB/CGB-UTAD) Institute of Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Centre of Genetics and Biotechnology P.O. Box 1013 5000-801 Vila Real Portugal
  • 2 National Plant Breeding Station P.O. Box 6 7350-951 Elvas Portugal
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Genetic improvement in aluminium tolerance is one of the most cost-effective solutions to improve the productivity of wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) in acid soils. Sources of tolerance to this abiotic stress within adapted germplasm are limited, so the identification and characterisation of new sources are of some priority for the future of plant breeding in target areas. The aim of this study was to evaluate the response to aluminium stress of an old Portuguese wheat collection and to select the most tolerant ones for genetic and breeding purposes. An old collection of Portuguese wheat cultivars and some ‘Barbela’ lines were tested and classified in relation to aluminium tolerance and compared to modern wheat cultivars using a hydroponic approach. Three bread wheat cultivars (‘Viloso Mole’, Magueija’ and ‘Ruivo’) showed greater tolerance to 5 ppm aluminium than the international wheat standard cultivar ‘BH1146’, and so represent excellent material for understanding the genetic control of aluminium tolerance. In addition, several accessions of the Portuguese landrace ‘Barbela’ were outstanding in terms of aluminium tolerance. In particular, line 7/72/92 had a pronounced advantage over ‘BH1146’ in terms of root regrowth.

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