Molecular Breeding

, 36:129 | Cite as

Genetic analysis of grain and malt quality in an elite barley population

  • Suong T. Cu
  • Timothy J. March
  • Susan Stewart
  • Sophia Degner
  • Stewart Coventry
  • Amanda Box
  • Doug Stewart
  • Birgitte Skadhauge
  • Rachel A. Burton
  • Geoffrey B. Fincher
  • Jason Eglinton


Quantitative trait loci (QTLs) associated with grain weight, grain width, kernel hardness and malting quality were mapped in a doubled haploid population derived from two elite Australian malting barley varieties, Navigator and Admiral. A total of 30 QTLs for grain weight, grain width and kernel hardness were identified in three environments, and 63 QTLs were identified for ten malting quality traits in two environments. Three malting quality traits, namely β-amylase, diastatic power and apparent attenuation limit, were mainly controlled by a QTL linked to the Bmy1 gene at the distal end of chromosome 4H encoding a β-amylase enzyme. Six other malting quality traits, namely α-amylase, soluble protein, Kolbach index, free amino-acid nitrogen, wort β-glucan and viscosity, had coincident QTL clustered on chromosomes 1HS, 4HS, 7HS and 7HL, which demonstrated the interdependence of these traits. There was a strong association between these malt quality QTL clusters on chromosomes 1HS and 7HL and the major QTL for kernel hardness, suggesting that the use of this trait to enable early selection for malting quality in breeding programs would be feasible. In contrast, the majority of QTLs for hot-water extract were not coincident with those identified for other malt quality traits, which suggested differences in the mechanism controlling this trait. Novel QTLs have been identified for kernel hardness on chromosomes 2HL and 7HL, hot-water extract on 7HL and wort β-glucan on 6HL, and the resulting markers may be useful for marker-assisted selection in breeding programs.


Barley breeding Kernel hardness Malting quality Marker-assisted selection Quantitative trait loci 



This work was supported by grants from the Australian Research Council, Cargill Malt and Carlsberg Breweries through an ARC-Linkage Project (LP130100600).

Supplementary material

11032_2016_554_MOESM1_ESM.docx (13 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 12 kb)
11032_2016_554_MOESM2_ESM.xlsx (2.3 mb)
Supplementary material 2 (XLSX 2370 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Suong T. Cu
    • 1
  • Timothy J. March
    • 2
  • Susan Stewart
    • 2
  • Sophia Degner
    • 2
  • Stewart Coventry
    • 2
  • Amanda Box
    • 2
  • Doug Stewart
    • 3
  • Birgitte Skadhauge
    • 4
  • Rachel A. Burton
    • 1
  • Geoffrey B. Fincher
    • 1
  • Jason Eglinton
    • 2
  1. 1.Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell WallsThe University of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia
  2. 2.School of Agriculture, Food and WineThe University of AdelaideGlen OsmondAustralia
  3. 3.Cargill Malt, CargillStepneyAustralia
  4. 4.Carlsberg Research LaboratoryCopenhagen VDenmark

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