Shotgun sequencing and mapping the barley genome







Barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) is a major crop plant worldwide and is grown on approximately 4 million acres in the United States. A multiplicity of characteristics and infrastructure indicate that barley will play a role in the bioeconomy. Barley can be used to produce ethanol from grain or cellulosic ethanol from straw. Major industry investments to develop barley into a biofuel are underway. For example, Osage BioEnergy has initiated construction of the Appomattox Bio Energy plant that will produce 65 million barrels of ethanol per year from barley. In contrast to emerging bioenergy crops like switchgrass and Miscanthus, barley growers already have the required infrastructure and cultural knowledge to obtain a high yielding crop. In addition, barley is important in various crop rotations and is adapted to drier growing regions of the U.S. not amenable to corn and soybean production. Barley is a large-genome monocot and a true diploid member of the Triticeae (wheat, barley, rye). The genome size is about 5000 Mb with approximately 70-80% composed of repetitive retrotransposon sequence. The International Barley Sequencing Consortium (IBSC, goal is the gold standard of a complete genome sequence. To move towards the international gold standard and develop additional genetic tools for barley genomics, in this proposal we seek to use Illumina sequencing technology to shotgun sequence two barley mapping population parents Steptoe and Morex and 100 individuals from the Steptoe x Morex (SM) doubled haploid population. This activity will reveal the content of the gene-containing regions of the barley genome and position all or most of the barley genes to a map location. The sequences will also be combined with other barley sequencing, and genetic and physical mapping activities. These efforts will be an important step on the path to a complete genome sequence. Finally, the barley genetics and breeding community is ready to utilize the sequence and mapping data to accelerate barley as a biofuels model and time-tested crop in the biofuels landscape.