Genes, Vol. 12, Pages 1613: Genetic Loci Underlying Awn Morphology in Barley
Barley awns are highly active in photosynthesis and account for 30–50% of grain weight in barley. They are diverse in length, ranging from long to awnless, and in shape from straight to hooded or crooked. Their diversity and importance have intrigued geneticists for several decades. A large collection of awnness mutants are available—over a dozen of them have been mapped on chromosomes and a few recently cloned. Different awnness genes interact with each other to produce diverse awn phenotypes. With the availability of the sequenced barley genome and application of new mapping and gene cloning strategies, it will now be possible to identify and clone more awnness genes. A better understanding of the genetic basis of awn diversity will greatly facilitate development of new barley cultivars with improved yield, adaptability and sustainability.
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