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Nat Genet. 2011 Feb;43(2):169-72. doi: 10.1038/ng.745. Epub 2011 Jan 9.

INTERMEDIUM-C, a modifier of lateral spikelet fertility in barley, is an ortholog of the maize domestication gene TEOSINTE BRANCHED 1.

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Genetics Programme, Scottish Crop Research Institute, Invergowrie, Dundee, Scotland, UK.


The domestication of cereals has involved common changes in morphological features, such as seed size, seed retention and modification of vegetative and inflorescence architecture that ultimately contributed to an increase in harvested yield. In barley, this process has resulted in two different cultivated types, two-rowed and six-rowed forms, both derived from the wild two-rowed ancestor, with archaeo-botanical evidence indicating the origin of six-rowed barley early in the domestication of the species, some 8,600-8,000 years ago. Variation at SIX-ROWED SPIKE 1 (VRS1) is sufficient to control this phenotype. However, phenotypes imposed by VRS1 alleles are modified by alleles at the INTERMEDIUM-C (INT-C) locus. Here we show that INT-C is an ortholog of the maize domestication gene TEOSINTE BRANCHED 1 (TB1) and identify 17 coding mutations in barley TB1 correlated with lateral spikelet fertility phenotypes.

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