Wspólnotowy Serwis Informacyjny Badan i Rozwoju - CORDIS

Improving the quality of European barley

For decades, a major objective for barley breeders and end users has been to improve and transfer good malting quality between genotypes. Traditionally, the best quality has been achieved in varieties which are planted in the spring. Winter varieties, while higher yielding have generally lower quality and this is an association which has proved difficult to break. The project dissects what breeders, maltsters and brewers consider 'quality' into its component parts and in parallel develop the genetic and informatics tools which will allow these parts to be reassembled into new varieties with better overall quality using what has become known as Marker Assisted Selection (MAS). Four specific tasks are addressed: detailed analysis of parameters affecting or predicting 'malting quality' on individual lines from three doubled haploid barley populations; increase product quality, reduce production costs by increasing natural biological resistance of barley to disease and pests; devise practical methods for MAS which are comprised simple, informative and robust assays; assemble the results in a user friendly database. From the first quality analyses it is clear that genetic variation for quality segregates in the test populations. Preliminary linkage analysis has identified the genetic location of quantitative trait loci which affect the malting quality of the grain (in one of the populations) to chromosome 1H. Disease pressure in the field for powdery mildew and leaf rust was almost absent in Sequencing of over 700 deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) fragments has led to the development of 250 highly informative molecular markers known as simple sequence repeats (SSR) which are the primary assay type used in mammalian genetics. This represents one of the largest collections of SSRs for any plant species. The genetic location of over 250 of these has been determined on one of the test populations.

Reported by

The Scottish Crop Research Institute
DD2 5DA Dundee
United Kingdom
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Biotechnology - Food
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