New barley variety created using revolutionary gene technology

Western Australian scientists have used revolutionary gene editing technology to boost crop production while lessening the environmental impact on the planet.

This breakthrough genetic research will help meet increasing global demand for sustainably produced food.

By “turning off” undesirable genes, scientists created a new variety of barley with increased grain protein and plumpness. The result is higher yield of quality crops with a reduced need for nitrogen-based fertiliser.  

The technique also decreases water pollution as well as greenhouse gas emissions in support of a carbon neutral future for the grains industry.

The research is a collaboration between the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development, Murdoch University and the Western Crop Genetics Alliance.

Image caption: DPIRD research scientist Dr Yong Han (left), Murdoch University PhD student Sakura Karunarathne and Western Crop Genetics Alliance director Professor Chengdao Li have developed new barley lines with improved nitrogen efficiency.

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