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Agricultural researchers develop method to speed up breeding of scab-resistant barley cultivars

Date:
February 2, 2010
Source:
USDA/Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Scientists have developed an efficient and cost-effective method to speed up the breeding of scab-resistant barley cultivars, thus improving crop quality for small-grain breeders in the Northern Plains.

Healthy resistant barley (right) and susceptible barley showing symptoms of Fusarium head blight (left). Agricultural scientists have developed an efficient, cost-effective way to speed up the breeding of barley that is resistant to scab, one of the most devastating wheat and barley diseases worldwide.
Credit: Photo by Brian Steffenson, University of Minnesota

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists have developed an efficient and cost-effective method to speed up the breeding of scab-resistant barley cultivars, thus improving crop quality for small-grain breeders in the Northern Plains.

Shiaoman Chao, a molecular geneticist at the ARS Cereal Crops Research Unit in Fargo, N.D., collaborated with scientists from North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota in the study.

Chao used genomics information provided by the breeders to develop DNA markers tagged to important agronomic traits. Once appropriate markers were identified that tagged the useful genes, the markers were used in breeding populations to increase the efficiency of selection. The Fargo lab also developed procedures to speed up marker-assisted breeding.

Marker-assisted breeding is the process used to select plants carrying a trait of interest, such as resistance to scab (Fusarium head blight), which has cost U.S. farmers more than $3 billion since 1990.

This work would not be possible without the cooperation of the breeders, who collected barley samples for the Fargo lab to analyze.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA/Agricultural Research Service. The original article was written by Alfredo Flores. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Agricultural researchers develop method to speed up breeding of scab-resistant barley cultivars." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202141308.htm>.
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. (2010, February 2). Agricultural researchers develop method to speed up breeding of scab-resistant barley cultivars. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202141308.htm
USDA/Agricultural Research Service. "Agricultural researchers develop method to speed up breeding of scab-resistant barley cultivars." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/02/100202141308.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

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