miércoles, 30 de noviembre de 2016

Barley dormancy mutation suggests beer motivated early farmers

Okayama University have identified the gene mutation and the enzyme it encodes to determine whether the dormancy of barley is long (better for food crops) or short (better for beer-making).

The authors of this paper note that, "The wild barley's long dormancy means that, initially, the grain will not germinate in response to transient moisture availability and will therefore survive hot, dry summers". As a result seeds like wild-type barley that undergo a long state of "dormancy" at maturity – during which they will not germinate –are favoured for food crops. In contrast a short dormancy is more efficient and preferable for beer making.

Kazuhiro Sato and colleagues – a collaboration of Okayama University and the Institute of Agrobiological Sciences in Japan and the University of Adelaide in Australia - compared DNA sequences of Haruna Nijo – a type of barley known to have short dormancy – with wild barley H602, known to have long dormancy. After studying over 5000 plants, they identified the section of the barley's DNA that varies with expression of long or short dormancy - AK372829. [...] The Archaeology News Network

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