Economic and Academic Importance of Barley

  • Peter LangridgeEmail author
Part of the Compendium of Plant Genomes book series (CPG)


Barley has had an interesting history. It is thought to be the first crop domesticated and developed as the staple food for the earliest farmers. It has remained an important food in many regions but its main uses now are as an animal feed and for beer production. While production for the other major cereal crops, maize, rice and wheat, has continued to grow, barley production has stagnated over the past two decades. Nevertheless, over the last century, barley has been an important crop model for a wide range of studies on genetics, biochemistry and developmental biology, particularly for barley’s close relative, wheat. Many key concepts and tools in modern crop research can be traced back to early studies on barley. As techniques for genetic and genome analysis improve, and genomic research in wheat becomes more tractable, the role of barley as a model is likely to shift. However, there are several aspects of barley that are likely to keep it as an important crop for study.


Barley End uses Science Production Domestication Disease Mutation Malting 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Agriculture, Food and WineUniversity of AdelaideAdelaideAustralia

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