Mapping of Barley Genome Advanced

Work conducted and supported by USDA in collaboration with researchers around the globe has led to the most advanced sequencing of the barley genome to date. USDA says this advance will give researchers the tools to produce higher yields, improve pest and disease resistance and enhance nutritional value of barley. USDA Under Secretary for Research, Education and Economics Catherine Woteki says USDA supports innovative genomics research that is helping to move us forward to meet the many challenges faced in food, fuel and agriculture production. This particular step toward full barley genome sequencing - Woteki says - offers enormous potential for global food security.

The barley genome is nearly twice as large as the human or maize genomes and was a challenge to sequence. But the International Barley Sequencing Consortium was able to circumvent the difficulties to create a high-resolution assembly that places the majority of barley genes in order. USDA says the new resource provides the sequences of nearly all genes and associated regulatory regions. This will offer new direction to researchers seeking to improve barley yield and quality through functional genomics and genomics-assisted breeding.

More information is available at www dot barleygenome dot org (www.barleygenome.org).

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