Plant Meiosis pp 367-379 | Cite as

A Modular Tray Growth System for Barley

  • Mikel ArrietaEmail author
  • Isabelle Colas
  • Malcolm Macaulay
  • Robbie Waugh
  • Luke Ramsay
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 2061)


Determining when a barley plant starts and finishes meiosis is not trivial as when the spikelets undergo meiosis, the spike is not visible as it is still well within the leaf sheath on the developing tiller. This is a general constraint for any experiment involving meiosis, such as cytology, RNA extractions, or abiotic stress treatments aiming to target such a developmental stage. The lack of synchronicity between barley tillers within the same plant exacerbates the difficulty to determine the overall meiotic stage of a plant at a certain time.

Given the lack of a nondestructive staging system for predicting the entry into meiosis and the problems of working with large pot plant systems, a modular plant growing is proposed. This system enables the growth of a high number of plants in a small surface, each producing a single tiller. The modular tray system was used to generate a nondestructive prediction tool for meiosis by using external morphological features. As an example, the system is used here for heat treating F1 plants in early meiosis stages to modify recombination.

Key words

Barley Meiosis Staging Nondestructive Prediction High-throughput Temperature Modular tray system Heat shock 



The author would like to acknowledge Jim McNicol and BioSS for their advice and helpful discussions on the staging data and Ed Byrne and KWS-UK for their advice and collaboration in the COMREC network. This research was funded by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7-PEOPLE-2013-ITN COMREC- 606956. I.C. was funded by the European Community’s Seventh Framework Programme FP7/2007–2013 under grant agreement n° 222883 MeioSys and by ERC advanced grant “Shuffle” (Project ID: 669182). L.R. and R.W. were funded from the Scottish Government’s Rural and Environment Science and Analytical Services Division Theme 2 Work Program 2.1.

Supplementary material

456954_1_En_26_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (28 kb)
Data 1 Modular tray grow system for barley_dataset (XLSX 27 kb)
Data 2 Script for meiosis reference table (R 2 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mikel Arrieta
    • 1
    Email author
  • Isabelle Colas
    • 1
  • Malcolm Macaulay
    • 1
  • Robbie Waugh
    • 1
    • 2
  • Luke Ramsay
    • 1
  1. 1.Cell and Molecular SciencesThe James Hutton InstituteInvergowrieUK
  2. 2.Division of Plant SciencesUniversity of Dundee at The James Hutton InstituteInvergowrieUK

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