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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: The associations between Vrs1 alleles and grain quality traits in spring barley Hordeum vulgare L.

item Turuspekov, Y
item Martin, J
item Beecher, Brian
item Giroux, M

Submitted to: Cereal Chemistry
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/22/2008
Publication Date: 10/30/2008
Publication URL:
Citation: Turuspekov, Y., Martin, J.M., Beecher, B.S., Giroux, M.J. 2008. The associations between Vrs1 alleles and grain quality traits in spring barley Hordeum vulgare L.. Cereal Chemistry. 85:817-823.

Interpretive Summary: Mutations in the Vrs1 gene cause barley seed heads to form six rows of kernels instead of the usual two. These changes in head row type have a major effect upon end-use quality. It was found that different changes of the Vrs1 gene affected end-use quality in different ways. Specific mutations leading to superior end-use quality were identified in this study.

Technical Abstract: Barley head row type is a major trait affecting end use quality. Six rowed forms emerged due to mutations in the Vrs1 gene in two rowed barleys. Whether barley is two (Vrs1) or six rowed (vrs1) directly affects a wide range of morphological traits related to seed yield and grain quality. Vrs1 has been cloned and encodes a homeodomain transcription factor with a linked lecuine zipper motif. In order to test the association between Vrs1 alleles and grain quality, we characterized the Vrs1 alleles among a well-described collection of eighty-one spring barley accessions selected for divergence in head type and dry matter digestibility (DMD). The results indicated that the majority of two rowed barleys have the Vrs1.b3-1 allele and the majority of six rowed barleys carry the vrs1.a1-8 allele. In comparison with two rowed barleys, six rowed barleys were more variable in grain hardness. This divergence in hardness values was associated with specific vrs1 alleles with barley accessions carrying the less severe amino acid missense mutation VRS1.a3-1 being softer, larger seeded, and having higher DMD than those accessions carrying the more common VRS1.a1-1 amino acid frameshift allele. The assignment of six rowed barley varieties to different vrs1 allele groups may prove beneficial for the selection of specific grain quality parameters.

Last Modified: 06/22/2017
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