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Cultivar mixtures of winter barley and spring barley, together with their component monocultures, were grown in field trials to assess the effect of cultivar combinations on both straw and grain yield. The overall grain yields for all trials were significantly higher for the cultivar mixtures than for the corresponding component monocultures. Also, significant decreases in rhynchosporium disease severity for cultivar mixtures were recorded for most non-fungicide treatments. The size of these responses was often significantly correlated with the component number of the mixtures. The amount of straw produced in mixtures was sometimes changed significantly, but not always in a positive direction and it was only correlated with increasing mixture component number in two environments. No correlation of straw yield potential of cultivars with performance in mixtures was found. Cultivar × cultivar mixture × environment interactions appeared to affect the relative yield of grain and straw differentially and therefore it was not possible to predict the effect of mixtures on the harvest index.
In the conventional cropping systems, increased costs and resource pollution are attributed to the intensive use of chemical inputs. The adoption of cover crops could be a part of a suitable strategy for improving the sustainability of the agro-ecosystems due to their ability to affect nutrient and weed management. A 2-yr field experiments were conducted in Gorgan, North of Iran, with the aim of assessing the effect of cover crop residue management and herbicide rates on weed management and the yield of tomato crop. The treatments consisted in: (a) three winter soil management: two cover crops [annual medic (Medicago scutellata L.) and barley (Hordeum vulgare L.)] and no covered soil; (b) two soil tillage (no-tillage, where cover crop residues were left in strips on the soil surface, and conventional tillage, where cover crop residues were green manured at 30 cm of soil depth); and (c) three pre-emergence herbicide rates (no-herbicide application, half rate recommended or full rate recommended ). Cover crops were sown in early September and mechanically suppressed in March about 2 weeks before tomato transplanting. At cover crop suppression, annual medic showed the highest aboveground biomass [569 g m−2 of dry matter (DM)], while barley showed the lowest weed content (32 g m−2 of DM). At tomato harvesting, weed density and aboveground biomass ranged from 6.9 to 61.5 plants m−2 and from 33.6 and 1157.0 g m−2 of DM, respectively. Cover crop residues placed on soil surface suppressed weeds more effectively than incorporated residues, especially in barley, mainly due to the physical barrier of residues which reduced the stimulation of weed germination and establishment. As expected, herbicide rate decreased both weed density and biomass, even if the adoption of annual medic and barley cover crops before the tomato cultivation could allow a possible reduction of herbicide rate while maintaining similar fruit yield. Tomato yield was higher in annual medic than barley and no cover regardless of tillage management (on average 62.3, 51.8 and 50.1 t ha−1 of fresh matter, respectively) probably due to an abundant availability of soil nitrogen throughout the tomato cultivation. This was confirmed by high and constant values of tomato N status grown in annual medic and evaluated using SPAD chlorophyll meter. Although further research of cover crop residue management is required to obtain a better understanding on herbicide rate reduction, these preliminary results could be extended to other vegetable crops which have similar requirements of tomato.
This study aimed to examine the effects of replacing rolled barley (high in starch) with citrus pulp (high in digestible fibre) in a supplement on intake and performance of young growing cattle offered grass silage ad libitum for 101 days. Weaned, early- and late-maturing breed, male suckled beef calves (n=120) were blocked by sire breed, gender and weight and from within block randomly assigned to one of two concentrate supplements based mainly on rolled barley (BAR) or citrus pulp (CIT) and formulated to have similar concentrations of true protein digestible in the small intestine. On day 87, blood samples were taken before and 2 h after feeding, and rumen fluid samples were collected 2 h post-feeding. Supplement type did not affect (P>0.05) grass silage intake, live weight gain, final live weight, ultrasonically assessed body composition or measurements of skeletal size. Rumen pH (6.64 v. 6.79), ammonia (51 v. 81 mg/l) and acetate-to-propionate ratio (2.7 v. 3.2) were lower (P<0.001) for CIT than BAR. In conclusion, citrus pulp can replace barley in concentrate supplements for growing cattle without negatively affecting performance.
This work assesses the potential of Sentinel-2A images in precision agriculture for Barley production in a case study. Two workflows are proposed: 1) images were acquired with a relatively simple methodology to follow the crop development; 2) two images around harvest time were downloaded and processed using a more complex and accurate methodology to calculate four vegetation indices (NDVI, WDRVI, GRVI and GNDVI) to be correlated to yield with linear regression models. Yield data were acquired with a yield monitor installed in a combine harvester. Green-based vegetation indices performed slightly better. However, the highest correlation coefficient was 0.48. Better results may be achieved with earlier imagery and other vegetation indices. Sentinel-2 is a promising tool for precision agriculture in large arable crop fields.
The objective of this work was to determine the most appropriate growth stage to make reflectance measurements that would indicate yield in high yielding winter barley crops. The results indicated that where different rates of fertiliser N were applied, at the same crop growth stages, the best relationship between vegetation indices, calculated on the basis of reflectance measurements, and grain yield were found to occur from booting to early grain fill. Where the timing of fertiliser N inputs was different, for a given level of fertiliser N addition, poor correlations between vegetation indices and grain yield during the stem elongation phase were observed.
In this study, agro-morphological and yield-related traits associated with drought tolerance in 80 barley genotypes belonging to 15 wild species together with the cultivated one, and their potential to improve adaptation to different levels of drought stress conditions (moisture environments) were studied. There was significant genetic variation among the genotypes and species for all of the measured traits, as well as differential responses of genotypes across environments. The results indicated high variation for grain yield (GY) under drought stress among the genotypes, and that some of the wild genotypes had consistently superior specific adaptation to the water stress conditions. The genotypes belong to wild barley species, especially Hordeum murinum and Hordeum marinum had lower GY but relatively higher yield stability under different environments. Traits such as number of seed per plant and hundred kernel weight were positively correlated with GY in all of the environments. High negative correlation between GY and days to ripening was observed only under intense drought environment, showing drought escape as a strategy of wild plants under highly stressed conditions. Grouping of the genotypes by principal component analysis completely separated cultivated barley and its progenitor (Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum) from other wild genotypes; however, the other wild species were slightly separated from each other. In addition, the Iranian and foreign genotypes did not completely separate from each other. The identified wild barley genotypes with favourable characters and high drought tolerance could be used in genetic studies and barley improvement programmes especially for drought stress.
Agro-ecological service crops (ASC) can increase the vegetation complexity of agroecosystems leading to a positive impact on natural enemies of arthropod pests and on weed control. In this study, two ASC terminations (green manure and roller crimper) and a Mater-Bi-mulched control (MB) were compared in order to describe the effects on pests and beneficial dynamics in an organic vegetable system. The trials were conducted over two consecutive growing seasons in 2014 and 2015. Zucchini were grown as cash crop and barley as ASC. Pests and natural enemies were monitored fortnightly by visual samplings along the whole zucchini-growing season. Zucchini plants showed a faster vegetative growth in MB treatment than in ASC terminations. In both years, MB plots were characterized by higher soil temperature and higher leaf nitrogen concentration resulting in plants more susceptible to Aphis gossypii infestations. In all the experimental plots, natural enemies controlled aphid infestations and no insecticide and sprays were necessary. In conclusion, the tested ASC techniques have been suggested as a tool to mitigate aphid infestation.
The Khapra beetle, Trogoderma granarium Everts (Coleoptera: Dermestidae), is a common pest of cereal grains and other stored products. In this study, the effects of ten barley cultivars (Abidar, Bahman, Line20, Line22, Line30, Lisuei, Lokht11, Makuyi, Sahand, and Sahraa) were evaluated on life table parameters and nutritional indices of T. granarium under the following laboratory conditions: 33 ± 1°C, 60 ± 5% RH, and a photoperiod of 14: 10 (L: D) h. Life history parameters of T. granarium could be appropriate indices in resistance and susceptibility evaluation of barley cultivars. The maximum survival rate of immature stages was observed on Makuyi and Lisuei cultivars and the minimum rate was on Abidar and Line22 cultivars. The shortest development time was on Makuyi cultivar and the longest on Line22 cultivar. Pupal weight was ranged from 2.56 mg on Lokht11 to 4.86 mg on Makuyi. Fecundity and egg-hatching rates were highest on Lisuei cultivar and the adults were long-lived on Makuyi cultivar. The highest rm values were observed on Makuyi and Lisuei cultivars but lower value of it resulted from rearing of T. granarium on Line22 cultivar (0.0350 female per female day−1). The results showed that T. granarium larvae fed on Makuyi cultivar had higher values of relative consumption rate and relative growth rate. The results indicated that Makuyi and Lisuei cultivars were relatively susceptible barley cultivars and Line22 was the most inappropriate cultivar for feeding of T. granarium, which could prove useful in the development of Integrated Pest Management programs for this pest.
To determine chemical composition, physical characteristics and standardized ileal digestibility (SID) of CP and amino acids (AA) in eight current hulled barley genotypes, an experiment with growing pigs has been conducted. These genotypes included Yool, Campanile, Lomerit, Travira, Anisette, Canberra, Metaxa and Fridericus. Growing barrows with an average initial BW of 30±2 kg were surgically fitted with simple T-cannulas at the distal ileum, and allotted to an 8×9 Youden square design with eight periods of 6 days each and nine pigs. Barley was the sole dietary source of CP and AA. On average, the eight genotypes contained on as-fed basis 10.7% CP, 15.2% total non-starch polysaccharides (NSP), 17.1% NDF and 4.1% β-glucan, and had a mean test weight (TW) of 72.2 kg/hl. The SID of CP in the barley genotypes varied from 69% to 74%, and was greater (P<0.01) for genotypes Travira, Anisette and Metaxa compared to Yool and Campanile. Standardized ileal digestibility of Lys, Met and Trp (P<0.05) but not of Thr differed between genotypes. Moreover, barley genotypes differed in their standardized ileal digestible content (cSID) of CP and AA. Furthermore, SID and cSID of CP and most AA linearly decreased (P<0.05) with increasing NDF and total sugar content. Standardized ileal digestibility of CP and some AA and cSID of CP and most AA decreased linearly with increasing TW (P<0.05). Additionally, SID and cSID of CP and AA of most barley genotypes were lower when compared to tabulated values. In conclusion, a comprehensive database on chemical composition and SID of CP and AA in eight current barley genotypes has been made available. However, as present SID values are lower compared to feed tables, adjustments are required to minimize the risk of overestimating the actual protein value of barley for pigs.
Certain purified indigestible carbohydrates such as inulin have been shown to stimulate gut-derived hormones involved in glycaemic regulation and appetite regulation, and to counteract systemic inflammation through a gut microbiota-mediated mechanism. Less is known about the properties of indigestible carbohydrates intrinsic to food. The aim of this study was to investigate the possibility to affect release of endogenous gut hormones and ameliorate appetite control and glycaemic control by ingestion of a whole-grain cereal food product rich in NSP and resistant starch in healthy humans. In all, twenty middle-aged subjects were provided with a barley kernel-based bread (BB) or a reference white wheat bread during 3 consecutive days, respectively, in a randomised cross-over design study. At a standardised breakfast the following day (day 4), blood was collected for the analysis of blood (b) glucose regulation, gastrointestinal hormones, markers of inflammation and markers of colonic fermentation; 3 d of intervention with BB increased gut hormones in plasma (p) the next morning at fasting (p-glucagon-like peptide-1; 56 %) and postprandially (p-glucagon-like peptide-2; 13 % and p-peptide YY; 18 %). Breath H2 excretion and fasting serum (s) SCFA concentrations were increased (363 and 18 %, respectively), and b-glucose (22 %) and s-insulin responses (17 %) were decreased after BB intervention. Insulin sensitivity index (ISIcomposite) was also improved (25 %) after BB. In conclusion, 3 d of intervention with BB increased systemic levels of gut hormones involved in appetite regulation, metabolic control and maintenance of gut barrier function, as well as improved markers of glucose homoeostasis in middle-aged subjects, altogether relevant for the prevention of obesity and the metabolic syndrome.
The aim of the present study was to determine if the consumption of barley tortillas varying in fibre and/or starch composition affected postprandial glucose, insulin, glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) or peptide YY concentrations. A double-blind, randomised, controlled trial was performed with twelve healthy adults. They each consumed one of five barley tortillas or a glucose drink on six individual visits separated by at least 1 week. Tortillas were made from 100 % barley flour blends using five different milling fractions to achieve the desired compositions. All treatments provided 50 g of available carbohydrate and were designed to make the following comparisons: (1) low-starch amylose (0 %) v. high-starch amylose (42 %) with similar β-glucan and insoluble fibre content; (2) low β-glucan (4·5 g) v. medium β-glucan (7·8 g) v. high β-glucan (11·6 g) with similar starch amylose and insoluble fibre content; and (3) low insoluble fibre (7·4 g) v. high insoluble fibre (19·6 g) with similar starch amylose and β-glucan content. Blood was collected at fasting and at multiple intervals until 180 min after the first bite/sip of the test product. Amylose and insoluble fibre content did not alter postprandial glucose and insulin, but high-β-glucan tortillas elicited a lower glucose and insulin response as compared to the low-β-glucan tortillas. The tortillas with high insoluble fibre had a higher AUC for GLP-1 as compared to the tortillas with low insoluble fibre, whereas amylose and β-glucan content had no effect. Results show that processing methods can be used to optimise barley foods to reduce postprandial blood glucose responses and factors that may influence satiety.
This review uses production and climate data to examine global and local production trends that can be related to events such as drought. UK grain quality data is also available and provides an overview of trends in protein content. Literature surveys show a consistent reduction in grain size due to the effects of temperature and/or drought. A review of gene expression studies showed that most genes involved in starch synthesis are down regulated under heat stress. Net protein production is also reduced under heat and/or drought stress but apparently to a lesser degree as the reduction in grain mass is larger, resulting in an increase in protein concentration. Modelling has suggested that adaptation could be achieved by moving production to more extreme latitudes but other research suggests that simply transferring germplasm from one region to another is unlikely to be successful. Another review has identified drought tolerance phenotypes that could be used to breed more drought tolerant crops. At the time of the review, the authors concluded that phenotypic selection was generally preferable to forms of marker-assisted breeding and have used the approach to produce drought tolerant wheat cultivars. Transgenic approaches have also been shown to improve drought tolerance under controlled environment conditions but there are no results to show how well these results translate into improved crop performance under field conditions. The recent advances in genomic data and detecting marker–trait associations suggest that marker-assisted breeding will play a much more important role in breeding drought tolerant cereals in the future.
This meta-analysis aimed to estimate the standardized ileal digestibility (SID) and the basal ileal endogenous amino acid losses (IAAend) in barley for growing pigs. In total, 38 different barley treatments published in 26 peer-reviewed papers were used for the meta-analysis containing information on dietary composition including amino acid (AA) contents of the assay diets, and (or) barley samples, as well as apparent ileal digestibility (AID) of AA in barley. The SID of AA was determined by either correcting AID of AA for their IAAend or by regression analysis between the apparent ileal digestible and total dietary AA contents. The SID values obtained by correcting the AID values for their IAAend amounted to 70%, 77%, 74% and 63% for Lys, Met, Thr and Trp, whereas those based on regression analysis method were 82%, 82%, 69% and 55%, respectively. Estimates of basal ileal endogenous loss of CP in ileal digesta varied considerably and averaged 11.84 g/kg dry matter intake (DMI), whereas IAAend for indispensable AA ranged from 0.05 g/kg DMI for Trp to 1.90 g/kg DMI for Leu. In most cases, these estimates were considerably higher than previously reported values for IAAend. The results of the present regression analysis indicate for most AA higher SID values compared with SID of most AA that were obtained by correcting AID values for IAAend. In view of the observed high variations in IAAend and the low CP content of the barley samples, estimating SID of AA based on literature data by means of the regression method may improve accuracy of SID coefficients for barley. In contrast, transformation of AID values into their corresponding SID values by using a constant correction factor for IAAend adds an additional source of error, thereby reducing the precision in estimating SID of AA.
A total of 48 Duroc×(Landrace×Large White) gilts of 33.2 kg BW were used to investigate the influence of immunocastration and diet on growth performance and carcass, meat and fat quality. Four treatments were arranged factorially (2×2) with two sexes (immunocastrated gilts: IG v. entire gilts: EG) and two dietary treatments (a commercial feedstuff as control v. granulated barley as a single major ingredient) provided during the finishing period (from 103 to 126 kg BW). There were four replicates of three pigs per treatment. At the end of the trial, the IGs grew faster (P<0.05) and ate more feed (P<0.05) than the EGs. Carcasses from the IGs had thicker backfat depth than those from the EGs (P<0.01) and carried out a lower percentage of rejected carcasses (P<0.05) at slaughterhouse owing to lack of fat. Meat from the IGs tended to have higher intramuscular fat (IMF) content in the Longissimus thoracis (LT) muscle than that from the EGs (P=0.09). In addition, immunocastration increased the total saturated fatty-acid proportion in subcutaneous fat and IMF (P<0.001) and decreased the total monounsaturated fatty acid (MUFA) and total polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) percentages in subcutaneous backfat (P<0.05 and P<0.001, respectively) and in IMF (P<0.01 and P=0.06, respectively). The use of a diet based on granulated barley during the finishing period had no effect on growth performance but tended to increase IMF content in the LT muscle (P<0.06), and increased MUFA (P<0.05) and decreased PUFA (P<0.01) proportions in omental fat. It is concluded that immunocastration of gilts intended for dry-cured ham industry improved some aspects of growth performance and carcass and meat quality, whereas granulated barley had scarce effect on productive traits and fatty-acid profile but tended to improve IMF content.
The usefulness of dietary strategies against cardiometabolic risk is increasingly being acknowledged. Legumes and whole grains can modulate risk markers associated with cardiometabolic diseases, but their possible additive/synergistic actions are unknown. The objective of the present study was to assess, in healthy subjects, the effect of a diet including specific whole-grain barley products and legumes with prior favourable outcomes on cardiometabolic risk parameters in semi-acute studies. A total of forty-six overweight women (50–72 years, BMI 25–33 kg/m2 and normal fasting glycaemia) participated in a randomised cross-over intervention comparing a diet rich in kernel-based barley products, brown beans and chickpeas (D1, diet 1 (functional diet)) with a control diet (D2, diet 2 (control diet)) of similar macronutrient composition but lacking legumes and barley. D1 included 86 g (as eaten)/d brown beans, 82 g/d chickpeas, 58 g/d whole-grain barley kernels and 216 g/d barley kernel bread. Both diets followed the Nordic Nutrition Recommendations, providing similar amounts of dietary fibre (D1: 46·9 g/d; D2: 43·5 g/d), with wheat-based products as the main fibre supplier in D2. Each diet was consumed for 4 weeks under weight-maintenance conditions. Both diets decreased serum total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and HDL-cholesterol levels, but D1 had a greater effect on total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol levels (P< 0·001 and P< 0·05, respectively). D1 also reduced apoB (P< 0·001) and γ-glutamyl transferase (P< 0·05) levels, diastolic blood pressure (P< 0·05) and the Framingham cardiovascular risk estimate (P< 0·05). D1 increased colonic fermentative activity, as judged from the higher (P< 0·001) breath hydrogen levels recorded. In conclusion, a specific barley/legume diet improves cardiometabolic risk-associated biomarkers in a healthy cohort, showing potential preventive value beyond that of a nutritionally well-designed regimen.
It has long been recognised that the Neolithic spread across Europe via two separate routes, one along the Mediterranean coasts, the other following the axis of the major rivers. But did these two streams have a common point of origin in south-west Asia, at least with regard to the principal plant and animals species that were involved? This study of barley DNA shows that the domesticated barley grown in Neolithic Europe falls into three separate types (groups A, B and C), each of which may have had a separate centre of origin in south-west Asia. Barley was relatively rarely cultivated by the early Linearbandkeramik farmers of Central and Northern Europe, but became more common during the fifth and fourth millennia BC. The analysis reported here indicates that a genetic variety of barley more suitable for northern growing conditions was introduced from south-west Asia at this period. It also suggests that the barley grown in south-eastern Europe at the very beginning of the Neolithic may have arrived there by different routes from two separate centres of domestication in south-west Asia. The multiple domestications that this pattern reveals imply that domestication may have been more a co-evolutionary process between plants and people than an intentional human action.
The authors show that the principal correlates of feasting in Viking Age Iceland were beef and barley, while feasting itself is here the primary instrument of social action. Documentary references, ethnographic analogies, archaeological excavation and biological analyses are woven together to present an exemplary procedure for the recognition of feasting more widely.
Traces of starch found on a large flat stone discovered in the hunter-fisher-gatherer site of Ohalo II famously represent the first identification of Upper Palaeolithic grinding of grasses. Given the importance of this discovery for the use of edible grain, further analyses have now been undertaken. Meticulous sampling combined with good preservation allow the authors to demonstrate that the Ohalo II stone was certainly used for the routine processing of wild cereals, wheat, barley and now oats among them, around 23 000 years ago.
At Jerf el Ahmar in northern Syria the authors have excavated a settlement where the occupants were harvesting and processing barley 1000 years in advance of its domestication. Rows of querns installed in square stone and daub buildings leave no doubt that this was a community dedicated to the systematic production of food from wild cereals. Given the plausible suggestion that barley was being cultivated, the site opens a window onto a long period of pre-domestic agriculture. Rye was also harvested, its chaff used to temper mud walls.
Thioredoxins (Trxs) are widely distributed, small proteins that function in redox regulation in a broad spectrum of cellular reactions. Experimental work with barley, wheat and a legume (Medicago truncatula) has established thioredoxin h (Trx h) as a central regulatory protein in seeds, reducing disulphide (S–S) groups of diverse seed proteins, including storage proteins, enzymes and enzyme inhibitors. Trxs appear to be particularly important in plants, as a large number of genes are present compared to mammalian organisms. In Arabidopsis thaliana there are approximately 20 different genes for classical Trxs, and large Trx gene families have also been found in cereals, such as rice, barley, wheat and sorghum. Extensive evidence indicates that adding Trx, reduced nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) and NADP-thioredoxin reductase (NTR) to cereal flour or seed preparations reduces disulphide (S–S) linkages of storage proteins. The early in vitro studies have been complemented with transgenic barley seed, overexpressing Trx h in protein bodies of the barley endosperm, which showed accelerated germination and early or enhanced expression of associated enzymes, i.e., α-amylase and pullulanase. Overexpression of Trx h levels in wheat was subsequently shown to (1) enhance protein solubility and digestibility, (2) reduce allergenicity of wheat gliadins, and (3) improve dough quality from poor-quality wheat flour. Most recently, we have demonstrated that down-regulation in wheat of Trx h9, a unique thioredoxin, leads to a reduction in the incidence of pre-harvest sprouting, demonstrated in several varieties over multiple generations with field-grown material. Yield and starch content were increased while baking quality in the high-gluten variety remained unchanged. These observations led to the intriguing question of how changes in the endosperm are communicated to the embryo. Studies of Trx h9, a membrane-associated Trx h that can move from cell to cell, provide suggestive evidence for a role of Trx h9 in intercellular communication of redox state.