Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Crucial Barley Gene Identified

Date:
December 4, 2007
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
Scientists have identified the major gene responsible for boron toxicity tolerance in barley, allowing breeders to select with 100% accuracy barley varieties that are tolerant to boron. Bot1 helps barley plants survive in soils containing high amounts of boron, common to much of Southern Australia, Asia and Africa.

Hydoponics screening of barley.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Adelaide

Adelaide scientists have identified the major gene responsible for boron toxicity tolerance in barley, allowing breeders to select with 100% accuracy barley varieties that are tolerant to boron.

The discovery was made by a research team led by Dr Tim Sutton of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics at the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine at the Waite Campus.

The gene, known as Bot1, was first discovered in a boron-tolerant African barley known as Sahara.

Bot1 helps barley plants survive in soils containing high amounts of boron, common to much of Southern Australia, Asia and Africa. The gene works by preventing the entry and accumulation of boron in the plant, which causes the damage and limits growth.

Since the early 1980s scientists have known about the toxic effects of boron on cereal crops in southern Australia.

“Highly boron-tolerant barley landraces (crop varieties) had been previously identified, but nothing was known about the molecular basis of their tolerance,” says Dr Sutton. ‘We used genomics, which is a combination of modern molecular biology techniques, to identify the sequence of the boron-tolerant gene from Sahara, and the underlying molecular mechanism that provides the tolerance.”

“Boron is an essential micronutrient for plants but they require just the right amount, and boron toxicity and deficiency severely limit crop production worldwide,” says Professor Peter Langridge, CEO of the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics. “This discovery means that farmers growing barley in high boron environments will be able to choose varieties of barley more suited to their soils, therefore minimising crop loss to this condition.”

Scientists can now work towards transferring this gene into commercially important barley varieties using either conventional breeding or transformation techniques.

The paper, Boron toxicity tolerance in barley arising from efflux transporter amplification (2007) by Tim Sutton, Ute Baumann, Julie Hayes, Nicholas C. Collins, Bu-Jun Shi, Thorsten Schnurbusch, Alison Hay, Gwenda Mayo, Margaret Pallotta, Mark Tester and Peter Langridge, appears in the 30 November issue of Science.

Boron toxicity appears in the tips of the older leaves first, turning them yellow with characteristic brown spots. It then extends down the leaf as toxicity increases until it causes tissue death and eventually plant death.

Barley is a main ingredient in the production of beer and confectionary. In Australian barley crops, yield has been estimated to be reduced as much as 17% as a result of boron toxicity.

Thirty per cent of South Australia’s grain growing soils are affected by high levels of boron.

The findings were published in the journal Science November 30, 2007.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Crucial Barley Gene Identified." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 4 December 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071130154659.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2007, December 4). Crucial Barley Gene Identified. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071130154659.htm
University of Adelaide. "Crucial Barley Gene Identified." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071130154659.htm (accessed September 22, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

Cat Lovers Flock to Los Angeles

AFP (Sep. 22, 2014) The best funny internet cat videos are honoured at LA's Feline Film Festival. Duration: 00:56 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Washed-Up 'Alien Hairballs' Are Actually Algae

Newsy (Sep. 22, 2014) Green balls of algae washed up on Sydney, Australia's Dee Why Beach. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

Raw: San Diego Zoo Welcomes Cheetah Cubs

AP (Sep. 20, 2014) The San Diego Zoo has welcomed two Cheetah cubs to its Safari Park. The nearly three-week-old female cubs are being hand fed and are receiving around the clock care. (Sept. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

Chocolate Museum Opens in Brussels

AFP (Sep. 19, 2014) Considered a "national heritage" in Belgium, chocolate now has a new museum in Brussels. In a former chocolate factory, visitors to the permanent exhibition spaces, workshops and tastings can discover derivatives of the cocoa bean. Duration: 01:00 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins