Development and commercialization of SNP marker technology for rapid identification of malting barley varieties
This Barley Research Cluster project was funded by Alberta Barley in collaboration with the Atlantic Grains Council, the Brewing and Malting Barley Research Institute, Rahr Malting and the Western Grains Research Foundation via the AgriInnovation Program.
Project lead: Dr. Aaron Beattie, Assistant Professor, Plant Sciences, University of Saskatchewan
Start Date: April 2014
End Date: March 2017
Barley’s contribution: $130,200
Total funding from other partners: $388,089
for barley farmers:
This project will develop innovative technologies to support traceability and quality assurance within Canada’s grain handling processes. Single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker testing technology for distinguishing and quantifying malting barley varieties in a given barley sample will create greater confidence in products being supplied to customers, improve quality assurance, and decrease commercial risk.
The objectives of this project are to discover genetic markers and techniques for identifying malting barley varieties.
The goal of this project was to develop, validate and commercialize an affordable and accurate DNA-based, single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker testing technology for distinguishing and quantifying two-row malting barley varieties in a given barley sample. This technology would help build on Canada’s position as a supplier of premium quality malting barley and malt by providing the ability to guarantee varietal identity and purity to domestic and overseas customers.
SNP assays were developed for malting varieties CDC Copeland, AC Metcalfe, CDC Meredith, AAC Synergy, CDC Kindersley, Bentley, CDC PolarStar, CDC PlatinumStar and Harrington. SNP assay(s) specific to each variety distinguish the variety from all other two-row malting and feed varieties. Internal and external proficiency testing was performed to identify and quantify a specific variety from a given barley sample. The proficiency testing was performed to validate the accuracy, repeatability and reproducibility of each assay.
SNP marker testing technology developed in this project was transferred to a commercial lab. We are in the process of negotiating a license agreement with SGS Canada Inc. to commercialize the technology. SGS Canada will provide barley varietal purity testing services to the industry. The purity testing will be beneficial to barley producers and grain handling companies by creating greater confidence in their products being supplied to customers, improved quality assurance, and decreased commercial risk.