Mutation Breeding in Barley: Historical Overview
The discovery of radioactivity at the end of the nineteenth century played a key role in a series of historical landmarks that would lead to contemporary mutation breeding in agricultural crops. The aim of the earliest experiments was to test the effects of radiation on living organisms beginning with fruit flies. Exposure of plants to X-rays provided the first incontrovertible proof that phenotypic changes could be induced. Chemicals were a second type of mutagen tested from the 1940s and both forms are used today. This chapter is an overview of some of the historical developments that led to the use of mutagenesis in plants, with a focus on barley, a model species for mutation genetics and breeding as well as a major cereal crop. Perhaps the most well-known examples of mutant barley cultivars are Diamant, Golden Promise, and their hybrids.
Key wordsBarley (Hordeum vulgare) Mutation history Radiation mutagenesis Chemical mutagenesis
This work was supported by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, Czech Republic (Grant LO1204 from the National Program of Sustainability I.). I would like to thank Alexander Oulton, Jiri Vagera, and Tomas Vlcko for their assistance.
- 3.Gustafsson A (1938) Studies on the genetic basis of chlorophyll formation and the mechanism of induced mutating. Hereditas 24:33–93Google Scholar
- 4.Gustafsson A (1941) Mutation experiments in barley. Hereditas 27:225–242Google Scholar
- 7.von Wettstein D, Gustafsson A, Ehrenberg L (1959) Mutationsforschung und Züchtung. Arb gemeinsch f Forsch des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen 73:7–60Google Scholar
- 8.Lundquist U (2005) The Swedish collection of barley mutants held at the Nordic Genebank. Barley Gene Newslett 35:150–154Google Scholar
- 15.Gruszka D, Szarejko I, Maluszynski M (2012) Mutation categories. Plant Mut Breed Biotechnol 53:47–55Google Scholar
- 23.Bouma J (1967) New variety of spring barley Diamant in Czechoslovakia. Abhandlungen der Deutschen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 2:177–182Google Scholar
- 24.Bouma J, Ohnoutka Z (1991) Importance and application to the mutant ‘Diamant’ in spring barley breeding. Proceeding of an international symposium on the contribution of plant mutation breeding for crop improvement, Vienna, p 127–133Google Scholar