Work Package 1.1 Barley Genetics
The dominant cereal crop grown in Scotland is spring barley, which makes up 30% of the UK barley area. Most of the crop is low in protein meaning it is particularly suited to distilling and brewing and is also used for animal feed, making a key contribution to aspects of Scottish life.
This work package aims to address the reliance on a relatively small number of spring barley varieties by producing improved varieties to enable Scotland’s farmers to remain competitive in an enlarged Europe.
- Develop tools (genes, markers, bioinformatics, knowledge) which allow the production of improved barley varieties which help Scottish farmers to remain competitive in an enlarged Europe.
- Identification of tools (genes, markers, bioinformatics, knowledge) to allow breeders to select crop varieties suitable for future Scottish climates.
- Increased emphasis on developing crops with enhanced nutritional quality.
- Improved understanding of factors contributing towards product quality including the identification of markers for key traits and genes for use by breeders.
- Explore the potential for extended season (early cropping): Science to deliver barley varieties with earlier maturation.
Examples for progress towards the outputs in the barley genetics work package include:
- the ability to DNA fingerprint different barley varieties in considerable detail
- development of tools to help identify genes to allow selection of breeds more suited to the Scottish (and NW European) climate
- examining barley to identify varieties with high beta glucan content, which has health benefits
- genes are being identified that are involved in plant development and stress responses.
A full report of progress can be found below.
- Dr Bill Thomas, Work Package Leader, SCRI