International Database for Barley Genes and Barley Genetic Stocks

BGS 615, Waxy spike 1, wxs1

BGN  43:160
Stock number: BGS 615
Locus name: Waxy spike 1
Locus symbol: wxs1

Previous nomenclature and gene symbolization:



Monofactorial recessive (2, 3).
Location is limited to chromosomes 7H or 2HL (1); wxs1.a is associated with SNP markers 1_0924 to 2_0247 (positions 107.44 to 159.73 cM) in 7H bins 07 to 09 and between 1_1118 and 2_1088 (positions 180.85 to 204.58 cM) in 2HL bins 12 to 13 of the Bowman backcross-derived line BW917 (1).


Plants with the wxs1.a gene accumulate excess surface waxes on the spike. Spikes appear normal at heading, but gradually they accumulate more surface waxes. Spikes have a distinctive white hue prior to ripening. The kernels have an irregular surface caused by poor adherence of the lemma to the caryopsis (2, 3). The wxs1.a plants of Bowman backcross-derived line BW917 were slightly shorter and lodge easier than their normal sibs. Their kernel weights were 10 to 20% lighter and grain yield was reduced by about 30% (2). Expression of wxs1.a gene is suppressed by the glossy spike mutants (2).

Origin of mutant:

A fast neutron induced mutant in Steptoe (CIho 15229) (3).

Mutational events:

wxs1.a (FN16, GSHO 3649) in Steptoe (CIho 15229) (3); wxs1.b (FN323, GSHO 3679), wxs1.c (FN331, GSHO 3680), wax1.d (FN444, GSHO 3681) in Steptoe (CIho 15229) may be alleles based on phenotypic similarity (3).

Mutant used for description and seed stocks:

wxs1.a (FN16, GSHO 3649) in Steptoe; wxs1.a in Bowman (PI 483237)*5 (GSHO 3432, BW917, NGB 22348).


1. Druka, A., J. Franckowiak, U. Lundqvist, N. Bonar, J. Alexander, K. Houston, S. Radovic, F. Shahinnia, V. Vendramin, M. Morgante, N. Stein, and R. Waugh. 2011. Genetic dissection of barley morphology and development. Plant Physiol. 155:617-627.

2. Franckowiak, J.D. (Unpublished).

3. Kleinhofs, A. (Personal communications).


J.D. Franckowiak. 2002. Barley Genet. Newsl. 32:205.


J.D. Franckowiak. 2010. Barley Genet. Newsl. 40:141.
A. Kleinhofs and J.D. Franckowiak. 2013. Barley Genet. Newsl. 43:160.