Cheers for Barley Genome:

Finding the secret to making better beer may be one of the reasons an international consortium of scientists cracked the barley genome. But improving crop yields and disease resistance are definitely on tap.

Malted barley is a key ingredient in brewing beer and is also important in making whisky. Barley is one of the world’s most important cereal crops and is closely related to wheat.

“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,” said biologist and lead author of the study Robbie Waugh, of Scotland’s James Hutton Institute. His team published the first high resolution draft of the genome, which is twice the size of humans, in this week’s journal Nature.