Barley’s genome now two-thirds sequenced

(Canada Beef Inc. photo)

A team led by scientists at the University of California, Riverside says it has reached a new milestone in its work on sequencing the barley genome.

In a release Tuesday, the researchers said they have sequenced large portions of the genome that together contain nearly two-thirds of all barley genes.

Because barley is a close relative to wheat, they said, the new work could also offer useful information leading to the complete sequencing of the wheat genome.

In conventional breeding, bringing in favourable characteristics from one gene can also bring in undesirable characteristics another neighbouring gene, the researchers said.

“For example, a breeder might succeed in adding a favourable allele for stem rust resistance from a wild barley, but along with that gene drag along another gene that causes shattering of the mature head,” said UC Riverside genetics professor Timothy J. Close.

“Knowing the location of gene-dense low-recombination regions helps with decisions about which genes to pursue for variety improvement.” — Network


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