Researchers Map the Barley Genome to Improve Future of Beer
There's a lot of elements that go into brewing a beer but now, scientists believe they may have cracked the code to producing a better beer. Researchers just published the genome map of barley, and say that understanding the genome will strengthen the crop and make it resistant to weather changes.
Barley, reports Business Insider, is the fourth-largest crop in the world. Of course, barley isn't just used in beer (though we like it that way); it's also used in the production of whiskey and cereal, as well as in the production of animal bedding and feed.
The researchers behind the genome mapping said that mapping barley was extremely difficult, because the size of the barley genome is twice the size of the human genome. But they were able to publish the order and structure of the 32,000 genes associated with barley, and specifically, the regions that carry more resistance to disease. That could mean in the future, barley produced through a breeding of varieties could better survive climate change, poor weather conditions, and diseases — and that could mean a lot for the future of food security down the line. It could also mean that millions of pounds of barley are saved each year, notes The Drinks Business. In the near future, though, beer drinkers should raise a glass to these scientists — after all, that barley in your beer goes a long way.