Institute of Crop Science, NARO

Barley Genomics

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Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) ranks fourth among the cereal crops with approximately 54 million hectares of the cultivation fields and approximately 150 million tons of grain production in worldwide. Barley is widely cultivated in all temperate regions and it is utilized for animal feed, malting, as well as a human food source. Because barley is self-pollinated and has a diploid (2n=14) genome, it is recognized as a genetic model of the Triticeae tribe including wheat, barley and rye. Studies of the barley genome, transcriptome, and proteome are currently advancing our understanding of the molecular functions of agriculturally important genes in barley. Here you can find an overview of our activities, and the data we have generated from extensive transcriptome analysis, as well as the cloning and functional characterization of agronomically important genes in barley.

Barley genome project

The Barley Genome Project is part of the Green-Techno Program supported by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). Barley is one of the world's most important cereal crops used for food, malt and animal feed. However it has a relatively large genome size (5 Gbp) which inhibits full-scale analysis of the genome structure by sequencing. An alternative way to understanding the structure and function of the barley genes is by full-length cDNA approach. From 2005, the cDNA libraries of malting barley ( Hordeum vulgare cv. Haruna Nijo) using the "cap-trapper" method have been constructed. After construction of library, 96 clones of each library were picked randomly and measure the length of insert DNA to verify quality of these libraries. cDNA clones were cut by PvuII and load in 1.5% agarose gel with 500 bp ladder marker. The insert lengths of 3 pooled libraries were 1.5-1.7 kb and all three libraries were considered reasonable as the length of plant full length cDNA library. 172,800 clones (57,600 sequences for each library) were sequenced both end with BDT v3.1 and ABI3700 and check read length with Phred. The read length is more than 500 bp and considered reasonable. We have also participated in the sequencing of the barley genome in collaboration with the International Barley Genome Sequencing Consortium. This project resulted in elucidating an integrated and ordered physical, genetic and functional genome sequence of barley. A physical map of 4.98 Gb with more than 3.90 Gb anchored to a high-resolution genetic map and identified 79,379 transcript clusters, including 26,159 'high-confidence' genes with homology support from other plant genomes. The genome sequence data provide a platform for both genome-assisted breeding and crop improvement in barley.

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