A collaborative team of researchers were recently awarded “Best Paper” for their article: “Quantitative trait loci impacting grain β-glucan content in wild barley (Hordeum vulgare ssp. spontaneum) reveals genes associated with cell wall modification and carbohydrate metabolism” that was published in Crop Science (March 2022). Contributing authors included Jason Walling, Cynthia Henson, Marcus Vinje, and Ramamurthy Mahalingam from the USDA-ARS Cereal Crops Research Unit in Madison, WI and Ahmad Sallam and Brian Steffenson from the University of Minnesota in St. Paul, Minnesota.
This article explored and confirmed the potential genetic contributions of the Wild Barley Diversity Collection (WBDC) as a “source of unique alleles for modifying levels of β-glucan in cultivated barley with different end uses.” It further “exemplifies the importance of WBDC as a novel source for identifying hitherto unknown genes associated with β-glucan and other traits of interest.” The paper was awarded distinction as one of the 2023 Outstanding Papers of Plant Genetic Resources through the Crop Science Society of America due to its “scientific merit, innovation, and contribution of novel or new approaches in the field.”
This research was supported, in part, by the American Malting Barley Association (AMBA) annual research grant program. AMBA is a trade organization representing end users of malting barley including maltsters, brewers, and distillers. Congratulations to the entire team for this recognition and for bringing this important work forward! You can read this award winning paper here.