Variation in the limit dextrinase activity of barley malt, and the relationships between limit dextrinase activity and malt quality parameters were investigated using eight cultivars grown at seven diverse locations in China for two successive years. Limit dextrinase activity varied with genotype and location, with the levels ranging from 0.245 U/g to 0.980 U/g. The results showed that the variation in limit dextrinase activity was more attributable to the environment (location and year) than to the genotype. The response of limit dextrinase activity to the environment differed markedly among cultivars, and was reflected by large difference in coefficient of variation of cultivars across diverse locations. Regression analysis showed that limit dextrinase activity was negatively correlated with malt viscosity (r=-0.52, P<0.01), positively correlated with Kolbach index (r=0.38, P<0.01) and malt extract (r=0.30, P<0.05), but had no significant correlation with malt protein content and diastatic power.