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Plants 2015, 4(2), 225-239;

A Substantial Fraction of Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Low Phytic Acid Mutations Have Little or No Effect on Yield across Diverse Production Environments

USDA-ARS Small Grains and Potato Research Unit, 1600 South 2700 West, Aberdeen, ID 83210, USA
Idaho Falls Research and Extension Center, University of Idaho, 1776 Science Center Drive, Suite 205, Idaho Falls, ID 83402, USA
Graduate School of Biosphere Science, Hiroshima University, 1-4-4 Kagamiyama, Higashi-Hiroshima 739-8528, Japan
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Current Address: Mayo Clinic, 200 First St. S.W., Rochester, MN 55905, USA.
Academic Editors: Francesca Sparvoli, Roberto Pilu and Eleonora Cominelli
Received: 19 March 2015 / Revised: 17 April 2015 / Accepted: 21 April 2015 / Published: 29 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Phytic Acid Pathway and Breeding in Plants)
PDF [539 KB, uploaded 29 April 2015]


The potential benefits of the low phytic acid (lpa) seed trait for human and animal nutrition, and for phosphorus management in non-ruminant animal production, are well documented. However, in many cases the lpa trait is associated with impaired seed or plant performance, resulting in reduced yield. This has given rise to the perception that the lpa trait is tightly correlated with reduced yield in diverse crop species. Here we report a powerful test of this correlation. We measured grain yield in lines homozygous for each of six barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) lpa mutations that greatly differ in their seed phytic acid levels. Performance comparisons were between sibling wild-type and mutant lines obtained following backcrossing, and across two years in five Idaho (USA) locations that greatly differ in crop yield potential. We found that one lpa mutation (Hvlpa1-1) had no detectable effect on yield and a second (Hvlpa4-1) resulted in yield losses of only 3.5%, across all locations. When comparing yields in three relatively non-stressful production environments, at least three lpa mutations (Hvlpa1-1, Hvlpa3-1, and Hvlpa4-1) typically had yields similar to or within 5% of the wild-type sibling isoline. Therefore in the case of barley, lpa mutations can be readily identified that when simply incorporated into a cultivar result in adequately performing lines, even with no additional breeding for performance within the lpa line. In conclusion, while some barley lpa mutations do impact field performance, a substantial fraction appears to have little or no effect on yield. View Full-Text
Keywords: barley; Hordeum vulgare; low phytic acid; grain yield barley; Hordeum vulgare; low phytic acid; grain yield

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Raboy, V.; Peterson, K.; Jackson, C.; Marshall, J.M.; Hu, G.; Saneoka, H.; Bregitzer, P. A Substantial Fraction of Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) Low Phytic Acid Mutations Have Little or No Effect on Yield across Diverse Production Environments. Plants 2015, 4, 225-239.

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