The advance will give researchers the tools to produce higher yields, improve pest and disease resistance, and enhance the nutritional value of barley.
Importantly, it also will “accelerate breeding improvements to help barley adapt to climate change,” says Gary Muehlbauer, head of the Department of Plant Biology, a joint department of the university’s College of Biological Sciences and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences. “That means making barley more resistant to drought and able to use water and nitrogen more efficiently.”
Muehlbauer is vice chair of the International Barley Sequencing Consortium (IBSC), which carried out the sequencing. The IBSC (www.barleygenome.org) was founded in 2006 and includes scientists from Germany, Japan, Finland, Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States and China. The USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture and the National Science Foundation provided funding for the US part of the effort.
The Nature publication provides a detailed overview of the functional portions of the barley genome, the order and structure of most of its 32,000 genes, and a detailed analysis of where and when genes are switched on in different tissues and at different stages of development. It also describes the location of dynamic regions of the genome that carry genes conferring resistance to devastating diseases. This will greatly improve the understanding of the crop’s immune system.
In the 1990s, Minnesota had a million acres of barley, but that has dwindled to about 120,000 because an epidemic of Fusarium head blight, which has decimated the crop in this state. Most barley is now grown in North Dakota, Montana and Idaho.“This resource will help make it possible to breed barley that is resistant to various pathogens, that exhibits improved grain quality, and increased drought tolerance and nitrogen use efficiency,” says Muehlbauer, who holds an endowed chair in molecular genetics applied to crop improvement in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics.
The Nature paper can be found at z.umn.edu/barley. For more information on the IBSC, please visit: www.barleygenome.org.
Peggy Rinard | EurekAlert!
Kakao in Monokultur verträgt Trockenheit besser als Kakao in Mischsystemen
18.09.2017 | Georg-August-Universität Göttingen
Ultrasound sensors make forage harvesters more reliable
28.08.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Zerstörungsfreie Prüfverfahren IZFP
Controlling electronic current is essential to modern electronics, as data and signals are transferred by streams of electrons which are controlled at high speed. Demands on transmission speeds are also increasing as technology develops. Scientists from the Chair of Laser Physics and the Chair of Applied Physics at Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have succeeded in switching on a current with a desired direction in graphene using a single laser pulse within a femtosecond ¬¬ – a femtosecond corresponds to the millionth part of a billionth of a second. This is more than a thousand times faster compared to the most efficient transistors today.
Graphene is up to the job
At the productronica trade fair in Munich this November, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT will be presenting Laser-Based Tape-Automated Bonding, LaserTAB for short. The experts from Aachen will be demonstrating how new battery cells and power electronics can be micro-welded more efficiently and precisely than ever before thanks to new optics and robot support.
Fraunhofer ILT from Aachen relies on a clever combination of robotics and a laser scanner with new optics as well as process monitoring, which it has developed...
Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.
A warming planet
Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.
The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...
Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...
19.09.2017 | Event News
12.09.2017 | Event News
06.09.2017 | Event News
26.09.2017 | Life Sciences
26.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.09.2017 | Information Technology