ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A University of Minnesota scientist is part of an international team that mapped the genome of barley, one of the world's most important and genetically complex cereal crops.
The researchers say the work will help produce higher yields, improve pest and disease resistance, and enhance barley's nutritional value.
Gary Muehlbauer, head of the university's Department of Plant Biology, says it will also help in breeding barley adapted to climate change, making it more resistant to drought and able to use water and nitrogen more efficiently.
Minnesota used to grow a million acres of barley in the 1990s, but that's dwindled to about 120,000 because of a fungal disease. Muehlbauer says their work will help in breeding barley that's more resistant to pathogens.
The results are published in the journal Nature.
The Nature paper can be found at: http://z.umn.edu/barley
International Barley Sequencing Consortium: http://www.barleygenome.org