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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Transgenic Cereals: Hordeum Vulgare L.

Authors
item Lemaux, P. - UNIV. CALIF., BERKELEY
item Cho, M. - UNIV. CALIF., BERKELEY
item Zhang, S. - UNIV. CALIF., BERKELEY
item Bregitzer, Phil

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 1998
Publication Date: N/A

Interpretive Summary: The development of barley as a crop dates to the earliest agricultural activities of humans, and it remains one of the major cereals grown for feed and food, and for the production of beer. In this century, an understanding and application of quantitative genetic theory has created a genetically elite crop that is divergent from its ancestors. Further improvements in barley cultivars will depend on continued access to useful allelic variability. Sexual hybridization will continue to play a primary role in such improvement, but its utility is limited because potentially useful alleles are either linked to undesirable alleles or unavailable because of sexual incompatibility. The advent of molecular genetics and non-sexual gene transfer offers exciting opportunities to bypass these limitations. Recent developments have added barley to the list of major crops that are amenable to genetic manipulation via non- sexual gene transfer either directly (bombardment) or facilitated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. However, significant problems remain, and include: 1) the lack of reproducible, efficient transformation systems for commercial germplasm; 2) the induction of stable genetic and epigenetic changes; and 3) transgene and transgene expression instability. In this chapter, we will discuss and describe the first systems used for the genetic transformation of barley, introduce and describe the development of new systems for barley transformation, and comment on past and future uses of barley transformation as a tool for basic science and commercial application.

Technical Abstract: The development of barley as a crop dates to the earliest agricultural activities of humans, and it remains one of the major cereals grown for feed and food, and for the production of beer. In this century, an understanding and application of quantitative genetic theory has created a genetically elite crop that is divergent from its ancestors. Further improvements in barley cultivars will depend on continued access to useful allelic variability. Sexual hybridization will continue to play a primary role in such improvement, but its utility is limited because potentially useful alleles are either linked to undesirable alleles or unavailable because of sexual incompatibility. The advent of molecular genetics and non-sexual gene transfer offers exciting opportunities to bypass these limitations. Recent developments have added barley to the list of major crops that are amenable to genetic manipulation via non- sexual gene transfer either directly (bombardment) or facilitated by Agrobacterium tumefaciens. However, significant problems remain, and include: 1) the lack of reproducible, efficient transformation systems for commercial germplasm; 2) the induction of stable genetic and epigenetic changes; and 3) transgene and transgene expression instability. In this chapter, we will discuss and describe the first systems used for the genetic transformation of barley, introduce and describe the development of new systems for barley transformation, and comment on past and future uses of barley transformation as a tool for basic science and commercial application.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014
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