Nav: Home

A close look into the barley genome

April 27, 2017

Malted barley is used in brewing, and in the unmalted form the grain is processed into pearl barley or flour. A large portion of the world's production is processed into animal food. The objective of barley cultivation is to develop varieties that are resistant to pathogens and that tolerate climate fluctuations.

"The barley genome, which is almost twice as large as the human genome with a very high portion of repetitive elements (transposons), presents a challenge for complete sequencing," says first author Heidrun Gundlach, PGSB. "This is why there was previously only a preliminary, incomplete and incorrect genome sequence."

Now Gundlach, together with colleagues in an international consortium, has succeeded in creating a new, high quality reference genome sequence for barley, decoding the chromosomal architecture of such large genomes, and getting to the heart of the interaction between genes and transposons.

"Our data allow the first detailed analysis of agronomically and industrially important gene families such as alpha-amylase, an enzyme with special importance in the brewing process," adds Dr. Manuel Spannagl, also PGSB. With their new reference, researchers also want to examine the natural diversity of barley at the genomic level. Their findings could significantly accelerate the process to cultivate new varieties, for example, in light of the climate change.

The next step calls for the sequencing, analysis, and genomic comparison of further types of barley. Scientists want to determine important characteristics, such as resistances of individual varieties, and apply them to other types.
-end-
Further information

Some of the partners who participated in the work were the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) Gatersleben, the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, and the Helmholtz Zentrum München, Plant Genome and Systems Biology Department (PGSB).

Original publication: Martin Mascher, Heidrun Gundlach et al. (2017): A chromosome conformation capture ordered sequence of the barley genome. Nature, doi:10.1038/nature22043. Abstract...

The Helmholtz Zentrum München, the German Research Center for Environmental Health, pursues the goal of developing personalized medical approaches for the prevention and therapy of major common diseases such as diabetes and lung diseases. To achieve this, it investigates the interaction of genetics, environmental factors and lifestyle. The Helmholtz Zentrum München is headquartered in Neuherberg in the north of Munich and has about 2,300 staff members. It is a member of the Helmholtz Association, a community of 18 scientific-technical and medical-biological research centers with a total of about 37,000 staff members.

The Research Unit Plant Genome and Systems Biology (PGSB) plant genomics group focuses on the analysis of plant genomes, using bioinformatic techniques. To store and manage the data, we developed a database, PlantsDB, that aims to provide a data and information resource for individual plant species. In addition, PlantsDB provides a platform for integrative and comparative plant genome research.

Helmholtz Zentrum München - German Research Center for Environmental Health

Related Data Articles:

Data centers use less energy than you think
Using the most detailed model to date of global data center energy use, researchers found that massive efficiency gains by data centers have kept energy use roughly flat over the past decade.
Storing data in music
Researchers at ETH Zurich have developed a technique for embedding data in music and transmitting it to a smartphone.
Life data economics: calling for new models to assess the value of human data
After the collapse of the blockchain bubble a number of research organisations are developing platforms to enable individual ownership of life data and establish the data valuation and pricing models.
Geoscience data group urges all scientific disciplines to make data open and accessible
Institutions, science funders, data repositories, publishers, researchers and scientific societies from all scientific disciplines must work together to ensure all scientific data are easy to find, access and use, according to a new commentary in Nature by members of the Enabling FAIR Data Steering Committee.
Democratizing data science
MIT researchers are hoping to advance the democratization of data science with a new tool for nonstatisticians that automatically generates models for analyzing raw data.
Getting the most out of atmospheric data analysis
An international team including researchers from Kanazawa University used a new approach to analyze an atmospheric data set spanning 18 years for the investigation of new-particle formation.
Ecologists ask: Should we be more transparent with data?
In a new Ecological Applications article, authors Stephen M. Powers and Stephanie E.
Should you share data of threatened species?
Scientists and conservationists have continually called for location data to be turned off in wildlife photos and publications to help preserve species but new research suggests there could be more to be gained by sharing a rare find, rather than obscuring it, in certain circumstances.
Futuristic data storage
The development of high-density data storage devices requires the highest possible density of elements in an array made up of individual nanomagnets.
Making data matter
The advent of 3-D printing has made it possible to take imaging data and print it into physical representations, but the process of doing so has been prohibitively time-intensive and costly.
More Data News and Data Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: Reinvention
Change is hard, but it's also an opportunity to discover and reimagine what you thought you knew. From our economy, to music, to even ourselves–this hour TED speakers explore the power of reinvention. Guests include OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash Jr., former college gymnastics coach Valorie Kondos Field, Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, and entrepreneur Nick Hanauer.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#562 Superbug to Bedside
By now we're all good and scared about antibiotic resistance, one of the many things coming to get us all. But there's good news, sort of. News antibiotics are coming out! How do they get tested? What does that kind of a trial look like and how does it happen? Host Bethany Brookeshire talks with Matt McCarthy, author of "Superbugs: The Race to Stop an Epidemic", about the ins and outs of testing a new antibiotic in the hospital.
Now Playing: Radiolab

Dispatch 6: Strange Times
Covid has disrupted the most basic routines of our days and nights. But in the middle of a conversation about how to fight the virus, we find a place impervious to the stalled plans and frenetic demands of the outside world. It's a very different kind of front line, where urgent work means moving slow, and time is marked out in tiny pre-planned steps. Then, on a walk through the woods, we consider how the tempo of our lives affects our minds and discover how the beats of biology shape our bodies. This episode was produced with help from Molly Webster and Tracie Hunte. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.