Barley genome breakthrough

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Scientists have this week confirmed they have unravelled the highly complex genetic make-up of barley, one of the major crops in Scotland, and with this detailed information they have promised to produce new and better varieties that are vital for the beer and whisky industries.

The UK team behind the research was led by Professor Robbie Waugh of Scotland’s James Hutton Institute, Dundee, who was working with researchers at the Genome Analysis Centre, Norwich.

Waugh said: “Armed with this information, breeders and scientists will be much better placed to deal with the challenge of effectively addressing the food security agenda under the constraints of a rapidly changing environment.”