Sleepy Gene in Barley Identified

May 31, 2016

Filed under: Media,New Publications,News — Tags: , , — Stav Manafis @ 5:18 pm

Two members of the Australian Research Council’s Centre of Excellence in Plant Cell Walls at the Waite Campus of the University of Adelaide have teamed up with Japanese colleagues to identify a dormancy gene in barley.  Professor Geoff Fincher and PhD student Julian Schwerdt are co-authors on a paper published by the group in Nature Communications.

Shortly after the domestication of barley in the Middle East 10,000 years ago, farmers noticed barley grains that germinated much more quickly than their traditional grain and quickly selected the new grain for cropping.  Beer production involves the controlled germination of barley grain to produce fermentable extracts and a long dormancy period of several months severely delayed the process.  A short dormancy period enabled the farmers to start brewing immediately after harvest.

The Japanese group, led by Professor Kaz Sato, used genetic methods to identify the barley dormancy gene.

Media Release – Scimex

Publication – Nature Communications