The North American Barley Genome Mapping Project, a consortium of US and Canadian research groups, was established in order to locate and characterize genes for economically useful traits to facilitate the breeding of improved barley varieties, and has already developed medium density chromosome linkage maps of a number of barley populations, on which genes for various traits (including malting quality characteristics as well as agronomic properties and stress resistance capabilities) have been located. Genetic aspects of barley malting quality are discussed in relation to the project's work. Schematic maps of seven barley chromosomes, showing the approximate positions of the quantitative trait loci for a range of malting quality characteristics and of genes which have been cloned in the course of the project, are presented. It has already been found that certain barley varieties which in themselves are quite unsuitable for malting may nevertheless carry good genes for one or two specific malting quality characteristics, which might be useful if they could be transferred to malting varieties by genetic engineering.
Keywords : barley breeding genetic mapping genetics malting quality research development variety