Barley

Article

January 27, 2022

Barley (lat. Hordeum sativum) is a genus of annual plants from the grass family (Poaceae). It is divided into three types: a) two-row (Hordeum distichum), which is most often used for beer production, b) multi-row (Hordeum polystichum and Hordeum vulgare); and c) transitional (Hordeum intermedium). Barley is considered one of the oldest cereals in Europe. It was sown in the Stone Age, cultivated in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia and the area of ​​European soybeans. In Babylon, it was used to make porridge and beer, and in ancient times, roasted barley was an important food item. Barley is a cereal that thrives in colder regions. It is used for the production of bread, malt, beer, coffee, animal feed, etc. Barley is used in soups and other dishes, and in barley bread of various cultures. Barley grains are usually used to make malt according to traditional and ancient methods of preparation. In 2014, barley was ranked fourth among cereals in terms of production (144 million tons), behind corn, rice and wheat.

Biology

Barley is a member of the grass family. It is a self-pollinating, diploid species with 14 chromosomes. The wild ancestor of domesticated barley, Hordeum vulgare subsp. spontaneum, is abundant in grassy and forested areas throughout the fertile crescent area of ​​West Asia and North Africa, and is abundant in disturbed habitats, roads, and orchards. Outside this region, wild barley is less common and is usually present in disturbed habitats. However, in one study of markers of diversity of the entire genome, it was determined that Tibet is one additional center of domestication of cultivation barley.

Domestication

Wild barley has brittle spikes; after maturation, the poaceae separate, which helps to disperse the seeds. Domesticated barley has unbreakable spikes, which greatly facilitates the harvest of ripe ears. The unbreakable state is caused by a mutation in one of two closely related genes known as Bt1 and Bt2; many cultivars possess both mutations. The unbreakable state is recessive, so the barley varieties that possess that state are homozygous for the mutated allele. Each plant received a set of genes from both parents, and therefore there are two copies of each gene in each plant. If one gene copy is a non-functional mutant, while the other gene copy is OK, the mutation has no effect. Only when the plant is homozygous, e.g. when both copies of the gene are not

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