Research Project

Feed and malting barley: linking enzymes to disease resistance

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. Jennifer Zantinge, Research Scientist, Molecular Biology Alberta Agriculture and Forestry

Start Date: April 2014

End Date: March 2017

Alberta Barley’s contribution: $20,000
Total funding from other partners: $202,000

Benefits for barley farmers:
The findings of this project will lead to more durable resistance in elite barley varieties to barley diseases FHB, net blotch and scald. In vitro assays that identify the plant reaction to disease will improve the quality of disease screening by better characterizing the disease-resistance mechanism. Improved phenotyping methods for disease resistance may be directly applied within the breeding program or used to improve molecular marker selection.

We plan to develop in vitro or lab-based phenotyping methods that accurately characterize disease resistance mechanisms and that can be used for quick disease resistance selection within a breeding program.  This will be done by developing lab-based methods to assay pathogen-related enzymes (glucanases, chitiases, peroxidases, etc.) linked to disease-resistant or susceptible phenotype.