Strong adhesion between the hull and the caryopsis is essential for barley to be of good malting quality. Poor hull adhesion, a condition known as grain skinning, is undesirable for malting and downstream processes. At present, the processes mediating hull adhesion during grain development are poorly understood. The barley cultivar Chariot was grown in greenhouse conditions and grain development was recorded at defined growth stages to examine the timing of hull adhesion. Initiation of adhesion was first observed when caryopsis fresh weight and volume were approaching their maximum at 19 days after anthesis, during early dough. Hull adhesion was complete by 27 days after anthesis, or soft dough. Sections of developing grains were observed using light and transmission electron microscopy to examine a lipid-rich cementing layer believed to be responsible for adhesion between the hull and the pericarp. Evidence for a lipid-rich cementing material was supported by the observation that neither pectinase nor cellulase effected hull loosening. Grain growth, the presence of globular material originating from the pericarp and an electron dense material in the cementing layer are discussed in relation to hull adhesion. Grain skinning could be caused by poor adherence of cuticular material or inadequate fusion between cuticles.
- Cementing layer
- Grain skinning
- Hull adhesion
- Malting barley
- Agriculture, Horticulture And Engineering Sciences, CSS : Crop Improvement & Agronomy - Team Leader for Agronomy/Physiology/Gene
Person: Academic contract that is research only