Joe Jensen: Undergraduate Researcher

Problem Statement:

There has been increasing concern of decreasing soil pH in some important barley growing areas of the state. Acidic soils cause stunted growth in most modern varieties currently grown across the state and there is a need for identification of acid tolerant lines for release.


This project aims to develop a rapid method to screen barley lines  for acid tolerance.  


Use known acid tolerant lines, such as Halliko, to identify a greenhouse screening method

Obtain and test genetic markers as a potential rapid method for screening large populations for acid tolerance in the lab

Streamline an efficient screening method to be implemented in the MSU breeding program  


Through use of acid soil media and genetic tools barley lines can be easily screened to ensure that they are tolerant to acidic soils at an early stage in the breeding program.  

Greenhouse Results

Hockett grown in neutral media

Halliko grown in neutral media

Hockett grown in acid media

Halliko grown in acid media

In neutral media, seedlings of both Hockett and the non-locally adapted line Halliko are deep rooted.


When grown in acid media the rootlets of Hockett seedlings are severely stunted, while Halliko rootlets are  not effected