Background: The naked caryopsis character in barley is a domestication-associated trait defined by loss-of-function of the NUD gene. The functional NUD gene encodes an Apetala 2/Ethylene-Response Factor (AP2/ERF) controlling the formation of a cementing layer between pericarp and both lemma and palea. The downstream genes regulated by the NUD transcription factor and molecular mechanism of a cementing layer formation are still not sufficiently described. A naturally occurring 17-kb deletion in the nud locus is associated with the emergence of naked barley. Naked barley has been traditionally used for food and nowadays is considered as a dietary component for functional nutrition. Results: In the present study, we demonstrate that targeted knockout of the NUD gene using RNA-guided Cas9 endonuclease leads to the phenotype conversion from hulled to naked barley. Using in vivo pre-testing systems, highly effective guide RNAs targeting the first exon of the NUD gene were selected. Expression cassettes harboring the cas9 and guide RNA genes were used to transform barley cv. Golden Promise via Agrobacterium-mediated DNA transfer. The recessive naked grain phenotype was observed in 57% of primary transformants, which indicates a frequent occurrence of homozygous or biallelic mutations. T-DNA-free homozygous lines with independently generated mutations in the NUD gene were obtained in the T1 generation. At homozygous state, all obtained mutations including one- and two-amino acid losses with the translational reading frame being retained invariably caused the naked grain phenotype. Conclusions: The hulled and naked barley isogenic lines generated are a perfect experimental model for further studies on pleiotropic consequences of nud mutations on overall plant performance under particular consideration of yield-determining traits. Due to the high β-glucan content of its grains, naked barley is considered as being of particular dietary value. The possibility to convert hulled into naked barley cultivars by targeted mutagenesis allows breeders to extend the potential utilization of barley by the provision of functional food.