The Barley lesson plans are a “core” resource that users can tailor to specific audiences – e.g. K-12, undergraduates, graduates, professionals, etc. This will lead to a self-sustaining enterprise in which finished lesson plans and resources are freely shared among users.

If you would like to develop and share a new plan, or improve on an existing plan, please contact

Iowa State University-USDA/ARS (Roger Wise)

  • iTAG: Interactive laboratory exercises to explore genotype and phenotype using Oregon Wolfe barley  
  • Roger Wise, Gregory Fuerst, Nick Peters, Nancy Boury, Laurie McGhee, Melissa Greene, Sarah Michaelson, Julie Gonzalez, Nick Hayes, Ron Schuck, Lance Maffin, Garrett Hall, Taylor Hubbard, Ehren Whigham 
  • iTAG (Inheritance of Traits and Genes) uses morphogenetically diverse Oregon Wolfe Barley in laboratory and classroom activities to connect visible traits to identifiable differences in DNA sequences. iTAG focuses on three traits to illustrate basic concepts in plant development, domestication, and disease resistance. Participants learn DNA extraction, PCR, gel electrophoresis, and document DNA polymorphisms among different phenotypes, concepts critical to producing productive crops. iTAG barley has been used by nearly 50 instructors in >200 high school and community college biology classes from 2010-2023, impacting nearly 5000 students, of which one third were from underrepresented groups from urban to rural communities.
  • Access the entire laboratory manual at The Plant Health Instructor 

Norweigan University of Life Sciences Plant Breeding (Bio 248); Anja Karine Ruud, Morten Lillemo, Øyvind Jørgensen (4/2023)

  • Out of five practical exercises, the population is used in three:
    • Qualitative traits – the students phenotype grain and plants for different qualitative traits (Vrs1/vrs1, Nud/nud, Zeo/zeo, Lks2/lks2, Kap/kap). The interaction between Lks2 and Kap is used to understand epistasis.
    • Quantitative traits – the students measure plant height, and use the Zeo-results from the previous exercise to discuss genes with major and minor effects on plant height.
    • QTL mapping – a computer exercise in R, were they do QTL mapping of qualitative and quantitative traits from the OWB population. Since the computer skills vary, they can use phenotype data we provide, which is formatted for easy import into R, or whether they want to try with their own data from the two previous exercises. Focus is on interpreting the results – and it is helpful that the students have seen and measured the traits themselves.

Purdue University - Controlled environment phenotyping; Diane Wang, T.C Ting, M.M. Hammons, and C. Hoagland.  Spectacular & Informative (ISS) vegetative stage growth data (Spring semester, 2023)

University of California - Davis - Plant Breeding (PLS 154); Pat Brown (5/2024)

  • "The cool thing is that you can see your Manhattan plot change in real time as you enter phenotype data. I’m still amazed that we can get such nice mapping results with just 25 genotypes, but I guess that’s the result of a) Mendelian traits; and b) good genotype data on completely homozygous lines."
  • Lesson description 
  • Excel spreadsheet 

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign - Introduction to Crop Sciences (CPSC 112); Juan Arbelaez (5/2024)

Oregon State University - Mendelian inheritance (featuring the OWBs); PBG 430; Pat Hayes (11/2021 - )

  • Lecture 1, 2, 3, 4

Oregon State University - Qualitative and quantitative inheritance; Kelly Vining and Pat Hayes; (11/2022)