Submitted to: AMBA Progress Report
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/7/2003
Publication Date: 3/1/2003
Citation: Bonman, J. M. 2003. Barley research at USDA-Aberdeen. p. 46-53 In: Proceedings of the 34th Annual Barley Improvement Conference. Log # 145986 http://www.ambainc.org/pub/BIC%202003%20Proceedings.pdf Interpretive Summary: The paper describes the status of barley research within the ARS Aberdeen management Unit and will be published on the American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) website. An oral presentation of the paper was made at the AMBA-sponsored Barley Improvement Conference in January 2003.
Technical Abstract: Since early in the 20th century, barley had been one of the primary targets of federally-funded research in Aberdeen, Idaho. Recently funding increases were made through congressional action to enhance support of small grains research and to plan an expansion of the current ARS research facility. ARS research within the Unit is organized into five projects, four of which involve barley research. These projects are Genetic Resource Management (Dr. Harold Bockelman), Barley and Oat Germplasm Evaluation and Enhancement (Drs. Mike Bonman, Phil Bregitzer, An Hang, Dave Hoffman, and Don Obert), Grain Chemistry Genetics (Dr. Victor Raboy), and Development of Genetically Enhanced Fish and Feeds for Aquaculture Utilizing Specialized Grains (Dr. Ken Overturf). Barley research within these projects is centered on germplasm improvement and activities designed to support this effort, including breeding new barley cultivars and enhancing barley germplasm to the point where new materials can be more readily used in breeding programs. The Genetic Resource Management project includes the activity of the National Small Grains Germplasm Collection which includes more than 25,000 cultivated accessions and nearly 2000 accessions of wild relatives of barley. Germplasm enhancement activities within the Unit are part of each project and aim to 1) create new traits of interest (e.g. low-phytate lines) as well as discover existing traits within unimproved germplasm (e.g. disease and insect resistance) and 2) introgress these valuable traits into agronomically useful genetic backgrounds. Recent research highlights include work using barley in trout diets, exploiting low phytic acid barley mutants to improve barley for feed-grain use, improving the Russian Wheat Aphid resistance in barley, enhancing the utility of barley as human food, and using new molecular tools for barley improvement. We must continue our work on this important crop to support the existing industry and to develop new opportunities for growers as market conditions change.