Branched barley spike (IMAGE) University of Adelaide Caption In barley the presence of a specific protein regulates the production of branches and flowers on plant stems in response to warm temperatures. A loss of function in this protein results in the formation of branch-like spikes at high temperatures. Credit The University of Adelaide Usage Restrictions Only in association with stories on this research. Please credit the University of Adelaide. License Licensed content Disclaimer: AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert system.