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Research Identifies Genetic Markers to Unlock Diastatic Power of Barley
Posted by: Prof. Dr. M. Raupp (IP Logged)
Date: July 12, 2017 07:02AM

Genetic markers that could help unlock the diastatic power of barley were
identified by researchers at the James Hutton Institute and Scotland's Rural
College (SRUC). Diastatic power (DP) is a malt's ability to break down
starches into simpler and fermentable sugars during mashing. The process is
important in the production of grain whisky where the mash consists of up to
90% of unmalted cereal with the remaining barley component added in
quantities sufficient for starch breakdown.

The research team gathered information from 100 spring and 100 winter barley
lines, with malting quality potential and different diastatic power
potential. After initial testing, these lines were reduced to 24 lines of
spring and 24 lines of winter barley. These were used to identify and
validate candidate diastatic power
[] genes.
The samples were grown in the James Hutton Institute farm, and the markers
used to predict high and low DP lines. To test the accuracy of the
predictions, samples were sent to the Scotch Whisky Research Institute for
micro-malting analyses.

Dr. Bill Thomas, one of the researchers who has worked in the two year DP
GENES project, said, "The project has enabled us to identify a group of
genetic markers associated with high diastatic power which are compatible
with current breeding programmes. This means that varieties purposefully
bred for high diastatic power and high yield could be available in the next
five years."


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