Mutations in the gene of the Gα subunit of the heterotrimeric G protein are the cause for brachytic1 semi-dwarf phenotype in barley and applicable for practical breeding

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Background: Short-culm mutants have been widely used in breeding programs to increase lodging resistance. In barley (Hordeum vulgare L.), several hundreds of short-culm mutants have been isolated over the years. The objective of the
present study was to identify the Brachytic1 (Brh1) semi-dwarfing gene and to test its effect on yield and malting quality.
Results: Double-haploid lines generated through a cross between a brh1.a mutant and the European elite malting cultivar Quench, showed good malting quality but a decrease in yield. Especially the activities of the starch degrading enzymes β-amylase and free limit dextrinase were high. A syntenic approach comparing markers in barley to those in rice (Oryza sativa L.), sorghum (Sorghum bicolor Moench) and brachypodium (Brachypodium distachyon P. Beauv) helped us to identify Brh1 as an orthologue of rice D1 encoding the Gα subunit of a heterotrimeric G protein. We demonstrated that Brh1 is allelic to Ari-m. Sixteen different mutant alleles were described at the DNA level.
Conclusions: Mutants in the Brh1 locus are deficient in the Gα subunit of a heterotrimeric G protein, which shows that heterotrimeric G proteins are important regulators of culm length in barley. Mutant alleles do not have any major negative effects on malting quality.


External organisations
  • Carlsberg Research Center / Carlsberg Laboratory
  • Nordic Genetic Resource Center
  • Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Genetics


  • Ari-i, Semi-dwarf, Hordeum vulgare, Brh1, Ari-m
Original languageEnglish
Article number10
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Publication categoryResearch