Crop Biotech Update

Barley Genome Gives New Information

August 26, 2015

Barley is one of the most widely cultivated cereal crop and is difficult to sequence due to its large and highly repetitive genome. Previous study of the barley genome only identified 6,278 BACs sequenced in the physical map but fine structure was limited.

In the study led by researchers from the University of California-Riverside, new information on barley's genome has been generated. In obtaining access to the gene-containing portion of the barley genome at high resolution, the researchers identified and sequenced more than 15,000 BACs. Comparisons were also made between barley and the ancestor of the wheat genome D using the software HarvEST.

The results of the study led to the generation of ~1.7 Gb genomic sequence containing about 2/3 of all Morex genes. Further studies on the sequenced BACs, revealed that it has gene-dense regions with repressed recombination. The comparative study between barley and the ancestor of wheat genome D indicated that there is a high level of colinearity between the two species.

The findings can provide new information to improve breeding strategies for barley and other related crops.

For more details of the study, read the article at The Plant Journal.