Fiziol. rast. genet. 2023, vol. 55, no. 6, 463-492, doi:

Food end-use hull-less barley (Hordeum vulgare L. var. nudum) — research and development related to breeding

Rybalka О.І.1,2, Polyshchuk S.S.1, Chervonis M.V.1, Morgun B.V.2,3, Morgun V.V.2

  1. Plant Breeding and Genetics Institute — National Center of Seed and Cultivars Investigation, National Academy of Agrarian Sciences of Ukraine 3 Ovidiopolska Rd., Odesa, 65036, Ukraine
  2. Institute of Plant Physiology and Genetics, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine 31/17 Vasylkivska St., Kyiv, 03022, Ukraine
  3. Institute of Cell Biology and Genetic Engineering, National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine 148 Akademika Zabolotnoho St., Kyiv, 03143, Ukraine

Two decades-long (2002-2023) breeding related genetic R&D resulted in development of the advanced breeding material of the spring and winter food end-use hull-less barley combi-ning advanced agronomic performance, high grain yield, outstanding drought tolerance, excellent threshing ability, technological and nutritional grain quality. Highly valuable breeding material of winter hull-less barley possessing the highest drought tolerance (incomparably over than winter wheat) at the grain developmen-grain filling stages also equally tolerant at the seedling appearance-plant tillering stages has been developed. On the base of this advanced breeding material a new high yielding variety of 2-rowed winter hull-less barley ‘Imperator’ was released. This cultivar combines extra-tolerance to drought with high plant resistance to lodging and 1000 perfectly filled seed’s weight nearly 60 g. The winter hull-less barley breeding material with prolonged (middle-late) vegetation time that is not inferior (equal or superior) in yield performance and drought tolerance to traditional for South Region cultivars with early- or middle-long vegetation period was also developed. Spike threshing ability is a critical characteristic for hull-less barley. On the base of our long-term breeding experience we came to the conclusion that the 2-rowed morphotype of hull-less barley is superior to the 6-rowed morphotype in threshing performance. However, the threshing rate of hull-less barley’s advanced breeding material possessing gene wax (waxy) is nearing to 100 %. Awn-less hull-less barley’s morphotypes (2- and 6-rowed) are inferior to awned one in grain yield, spike’s threshing quality and grain size uniformity. It also showed the top spike sterility with empty apical grain flowers. The awn-less spike morphotype is not perspective in use for hull-less barley cultivars development in South Region. In our breeding programs the target hull-less barley morphotype is 2-rowed that is equal with 6-rowed morphotype in grain yield performance, however, is superior to the last one in several important agronomic and technological characters such as spike threshing performance, 1000 grains weight, grain size uniformity, better appearance of the end-use food products made from whole grains. The breeding related genetic program aimed on the hull-less food barley biofortification in grain antioxidant activity using genetic resources with colored (purple, blue and black) grain enriched with powerful antioxidant pigments anthocyanins and phytomelanins was first initiated in Ukraine. The breeding related programs of the food hull-less barley grain biofortification by the key minerals content, vitamins, soluble dietary fiber beta-glucans, bioactive compounds, enhancement-lowering of starch amylose, development of hull-less barley with black grain and ultra-low gluten content were also pioneered in Ukraine.

Our breeding related research programs are aimed on the development in Ukraine of the new food end-use hull-less barley, predominantly winter and alternative cultivars, as a raw material for development and production on the Ukrainian food market of the new hull-less barley based functional food products. The research is also aimed on popularization in Ukraine of the hull-less barley as the unique healthy food product with highly valuable nutritional properties as well as an enhanced functional food status.

Keywords: Hordeum vulgare L. var. nudum, grain, mutation, pigmentation, protein, gluten, phosphorus, functional nutrition, food safety

Fiziol. rast. genet.
2023, vol. 55, no. 6, 463-492

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