We use genetics and plant breeding tools to understand and realize the potential of barley, a most amazing crop and model organism. Our applied efforts are directed at developing varieties and germplasm meeting a range of end uses: malting and brewing; food; feed; and forage. Our basic research is directed at understanding the genetic mechanisms that will allow us to deal with changes in climate and production systems.
Our basic and applied research endeavors intersect on the following themes: low temperature tolerance, quantitative disease resistance, and input use efficiency – all within a framework of facultative growth habit. Realizing our goals in a timely and efficient fashion involves continuous improvement of breeding and selection procedures. We are currently implementing doubled haploid genomic selection schemes for malting and food quality. For malting and brewing, we are shifting our program from six-row to two-row and pursuing novel traits, such as processing flexibility and flavor. The thrust of our food program is on flavor and aroma within the context of whole grain products. Our germplasm and varieties are tested and grown throughout the world under a range of management scenarios, from organic to input-intensive. Our germplasm and variety release procedures are tailored to the product and range from public releases to exclusive licenses. Royalty income will help support our continued breeding efforts and initiatives.