BGN 10: The utilization of barley plant and ear transposition in genetics and breeding BARLEY GENETICS NEWSLETTER, VOL. 10, II. RESEARCH NOTES
Špunar, pp. 76-80

II. 34. The utilization of barley plant and ear transposition in genetics and breeding.

Jaroslav Špunar, Research and Breeding Institute of Cereal Crops, Kromewriz, Havlickova 2787, Czechoslovakia.

All over the world, the present period of development is characterized by an effort to save material and energy costs. Multiplication of early generations of cereals with the objective of accelerating the breeding program both in glasshouses and climatic chambers demands a great quantity of electric energy for illumination and cllmatization. Cultivation of one barley generation out of the normal growing season requires 850-1500 kWh/m-2 in glasshouse and 3500-5000 kWh/m-2 in climatic chambers or special arrangements (Špunar 1979).

To conserve energy, advancing generations in geographically distant regions is done. For example, Swedish breeders cultivate the 2nd generation in South America (Persson et al. 1975). This system has some technical problems and it is not available to all breeders.

Špunar et al. (1980) describe cultivation of two generations without demand of electric energy for the artificial illumination at the Research and Breeding Institute of Cereal Crops in Kromeriz. The first generation was cultivated in the glasshouse in the period from March to June and the second one in the field in the period from July to October. To enable ripening of late plants or tillers, transparent plastic sheets covering a light wire framework was constructed over the cultivated plants at the end of September.

As part of this experiment, whole plants and ears were moved to the glasshouse of the RBICC in Kromeriz. The course of mean decade temperature values in comparison with 20 years average are given in Fig. 1.

Figure 1. Course of outdoor and glasshouse temperatures.

Two spring barley lines S 119, S 170 were cultivated in the glasshouse during the period 1st March to 28th June. After harvest, breakage of post harvest dormancy by grain drying at a temperature of 45°C for a 48 hour period was carried out. The sowing of the second generation was done on 1 July.

After the summer cultivation, on 1 October, with plants starting to head, the following experiments were started:

1. Transplanting of whole plants from the field to the support substrate with nutrient solution added to the soil and sand mixture. Artificial illumination for 10 hours/day, 12,000 lux intensity, electric energy input 740 kWh/m-2 in the period 1st to 15th November was added.

2. Cutting of ears and their transposition to glass flasks containing sugar solution in glasshouse, according to the method described by Smocek et al. (1979). No artificial illumination was added.

3. Spreading of plastic sheets over the cultivated plants in the field.


1. For the plants transplanted to the nutrient solution, soil and sand mixture, ears on the main shoots ripened at the end of October. Ears on the lateral shoots, which were not heading when transplanted, ripened about 15 November.

2. Ears transposed to the sugar solution ripened at the end of October.

3. The plants that remained in the field ripened too, but 1000 grain weight, number of grains per plant or ear, respectively, were reduced in comparision with plants and ears moved to the glasshouse. Analysis of plants and ears are presented in Table 1. Cultivation of barley in the summer period has following advantages:

a. Multiplication of two generations without demand of electric energy on artificial illumination.

b. Testing of breeding material for the resistance to rust and Helminthosporium teres,which exhibits stronger infection in summer period than in spring one. The aggressiveness of the above parasites is limited as well as under glasshouse conditions if optimum conditions for their development are not established (Brückner 1979). The results confirmed that late selections or lines which attract the breeder's attention can be simply cultivated until grain harvest. Whole plant transposition in comparision with transposition of ears alone is more advantageous if maximum grain production is desired.

Table 1. Analysis of barley plants and ears cultivated in the field and transposed to the glasshouse.

Similar results were obtained with plant and ear transpositions with oats.


Brückner, F. 1979. Personal communication.

Persson, G., K.E. Karlsson, and E. von Baer. 1975. Growing winter generation in South America for the rapid development of high-lysine barley. Sveriges Utsadesf-orenings Tidskrift 85, No. 5-6, p. 251-255.

Smocek, J., Z. Natrova, P. Fuak, and F. Laml. 1979. Ear-crossing on detached stem. Cereal Resesrch Communication, Vol. 7 (in press).

Špunar, J. 1979. Methods of breeding process acceleration at cereal crops. Published by Institute of Scientific Information of Agriculture (Czechoslovakia). Study Information, Vegetal Production, 2, 64 pages.

Špunar, J., M. Zavadil, A. Dohnal, K. Zezula, and B. Malovana. 1980. Cultivation of 2 generations of spring barley and oats without demand of electric energy on the illumination. Genetika a slechteni (Czechoslovakia), (UVTI), 16, (LIII), p. 67-76.

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