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Crop Biotech Update

University of Minnesota Introduces New Barley Variety with Improved Scab Resistance

January 21, 2011

The Minnesota Agricultural Experiment station of the University of Minnesota has released Quest, its first malting variety with enhanced resistance to Fusarium head blight or scab. Quest accumulates half the level of deoxynivalenol (DON), the toxic compound produced by the Fusarium fungus causing scab. This new variety exhibits similar yield with Tradition and Lacey, the varieties that cover 70 percent of the Midwest barley hectarage.

"Quest's resistance derives from barley varieties that trace back to China and Switzerland," said Kevin Smith, who heads the barley breeding program at the University. This study is being supported by the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative, Minnesota Small Grains Initiative, and the American Malting Barley Association.

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