The effects on barley starch and grain properties of four starch synthesis mutations were studied during the introgression of the mutations from diverse backgrounds into an elite variety. The lys5f (ADPglucose transporter), wax (granule-bound starch synthase), isa1 (debranching enzyme isoamylase 1) and sex6 (starch synthase IIa) mutations were introgressed into NFC Tipple to give mutant and wild-type BC2F4 families with different genomic contributions of the donor parent. Comparison of starch and grain properties between the donor parents, the BC2F4 families and NFC Tipple allowed the effects of the mutations to be distinguished from genetic background effects. The wax and sex6 mutations had marked effects on starch properties regardless of genetic background. The sex6 mutation conditioned low grain weight and starch content, but the wax mutation did not. The lys5 mutation conditioned low grain weight and starch content, but exceptionally high β-glucan contents. The isa1 mutation promotes synthesis of soluble α-glucan (phytoglycogen). Its introgression into NFC Tipple increased grain weight and total α-glucan content relative to the donor parent, but reduced the ratio of phytoglycogen to starch. This study shows that introgression of mutations into a common, commercial background provides new insights that could not be gained from the donor parent.