NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – An international group of scientists expects that by 2012 it will complete the sequencing of the barley genome, a program that could potentially increase survival and yield of the crop.
The effort to sequence the barley genome includes eight institutions in the US, Australia, Japan, Finland, Germany, and the UK, which together make up the International Barley Sequencing Consortium.
Andreas Graner, of the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research, said in a statement that the partners “are providing active contribution toward sequencing the barley genome, which is aimed to be completed by 2012.’’
The plan was announced at the 10th International Barley Genetics Symposium, which is currently being held in Alexandria, Egypt, by the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas and Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
“The better we have deciphered the genome of the plant, the better will be our understanding of its ability to produce more and its resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses,” Graner said in a statement.
Comprised of around 5.3 billion base pairs, the barley genome is almost twice as large as the human genome.
’’Farmers will benefit by having improved varieties that can produce more yield. It would also help reduce input of fertilizers and chemical plant protection to facilitate more sustainable agriculture,’’ Graner continued.