Barley pp 7-19 | Cite as

Mutation Breeding in Barley: Historical Overview

  • Ludmila Ohnoutkova
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1900)


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 words

Barley (Hordeum vulgareMutation 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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Science, Centre of the Region Hana for Biotechnological and Agricultural Research, Department of Chemical Biology and GeneticsPalacky UniversityOlomoucCzech Republic

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