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Zhang, G. and Li, C. (2016) Preface. In: Exploration, Identification and Utilization of Barley Germplasm. Elsevier Inc., xiii-xiv.

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Exploration and utilization of new germplasm has played a pivotal role for the increase of barley yield and improvement of malting quality in the last century. The denso gene from Triumph, ari-GP gene from Golden Promise, and uze gene from the Southeast Asian barley have become the cornerstones for modern barley breeding success in the world. Recently, success for deployment of the acid soil and boron toxicity tolerance genes in the Australian barley varieties have further demonstrated the high value of new germplasm for enhancing barley productivity and sustainability.

The consumption of barley keeps increasing with the growing population and the improvements in standards of living around the world. Barley is mainly used as raw material for feed and beer production. In recent years, use of barley as a functional food has been intensified due to its special chemical components, which are beneficial to human health. In this book, we present the advances in exploitation and utilization of barley germplasm for food and malt barley improvement. As a cereal crop, barley is often grown in the marginal soils. Climate irregularity has added new challenges arley production. Understanding the mechanisms for barley’s environmental stress tolerance is essential for future barley production. This book focuses on recent advances in barley abiotic stress tolerance, including drought, salinity, acidic soil (aluminum toxicity), waterlogging, and frost, with an emphasis on novel germplasm and technologies for germplasm exploration. The international community is still in the early stages of completing the barley genome sequence. However, recent advances in sequencing technology will have a dramatic impact on barley germplasm exploration and utilization. Thus, this book also includes one chapter on sequencing technologies and their potential applications.

The authors for each of the chapters in this book are researchers who are on the frontier in their specific research areas. We aim to cover the most recent advances for barley quality and abiotic stress tolerance, with an emphasis on practical implementation. The book will provide a good reference both for barley genetics and breeding research.

This book can be read as a companion to Genetic Improvement of Barley Malt Quality. The malting quality chapter in this book is a supplementary of the previous book with emphasis on the Canadian barley germplasm for malting quality improvement, as Canadian barley has been the international benchmark for malting quality.

Australia is the world’s largest malting barley exporter and China is the largest malting barley importer. This interrelationship has fostered the two nations’ long-term collaboration on barley abiotic stress tolerance. Many of the authors of this book have worked on these collaborative projects. Thus, this book can be seen as a summary of the collaborative research projects of the two countries. In this regard, we would like to acknowledge the support from the Australian Grain Research and Development Corporation and the Natural Science Foundation of China.

Item Type: Book Chapter
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Agricultural Sciences
Western Barley Genetics Alliance
Publisher: Elsevier Inc.
Copyright: © 2016 Zhejiang University Press Co., Ltd.
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