NIAB - National Institute of Agricultural Botany

Trait information

Trait: Seasonal Type

Barley varieties differ in their flowering response to low temperatures (within UPOV, termed ‘Seasonal Type’). Varieties that require a period of low, non-freezing, temperatures (vernalization) before flowering will take place are termed ‘winter’ varieties, and are planted in the autumn for flowering and harvesting the following year. Those which proceed to flowering without vernalization are termed ‘spring’ varieties. A third class, the ‘alternative’ seasonal type, are cold hardy but do not possess a vernalization requirement, and can thus be grown as ‘winter’ or 'spring' types. Seasonal type is controlled by three major genetic loci, termed VRN-H1 (chromosome 5H), VRN-H2 (4H) and VRN-H3 (7H). Spring alleles are epistatic to winter alleles, thus a winter variety requires winter alleles at all three loci. As almost all European barley posess winter alleles at VRN-H3, Seasonal Type can be determined by analysis of alleles at VRN-H1 and VRN-H2 alone.

 This trait is scored during national varietal registration trials, as described by UPOV guidelines: "Seasonal Type" (UPOV character 29. Scores: 1 = winter, 2 = alternative, 3 = spring).


Note: PCR/agarose-gel genetic markers for VRN-H1 (doi: 10.2135/cropsci2008.07.0398) and VRN-H2 (PMID: 1583469) have also been published.

Marker list

  1. HvVRNH1_SNP2
  2. HvVRNH1_0P5_InDel
  3. HvVRNH3_G585C
  4. HvVRNH3_A471T
  5. HvVRNH1_Hap2_InDel