Issue 1
December 2013

New investment in marker research

In 2013, the Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC) continued its investment in the Australian Wheat and Barley Molecular Marker Program, with a view to accelerate the delivery of improved varieties of bread wheat, durum wheat and barley to Australian growers. The program includes:
  • a Genetic Analysis module (AWBMMP-GA) led by the University of Adelaide (project code UA00143)
  • an Enabling Technology module  led by DEPI Victoria (project code DAV00127)
This newsletter: Several times a year, AWBMMP will inform its user groups about recent discoveries, new marker and new technologies . To avoid being a nuisance to those who are not interested, we will only be sending the newsletter to those who subscribe. CLICK HERE to subscribe to receive future issues of the newsletter by e-mail.  It's easy, it's free and you will be able to unsubscribe at any time.

Contact Us

Diane Mather
T +61 8 8313 7156

Ken Chalmers
T +61 8313 6812

AWBMMP-GA: Discovery and delivery of markers for cereal breeding

'GA' maps genes that contribute to important traits (mostly biotic stress traits) and develops markers for use in Australian winter cereal breeding and pre-breeding. The project's wheat steering committee will meet in Canberra on the morning of Thursday 20 March (details to follow). The barley steering committee  will meet at a later date, probably in Adelaide. Observers are welcome at meetings of these committees.  For further information about GA, see the project website at
[PROJECT: UA00143]

New markers for CCN resistance in barley

The barley genes Rha2 and Rha4 (AKA Ha2 and Ha4) confer important resistance against cereal cyst nematode, but - until recently - there were not any good molecular markers that barley breeders could use to select for these genes. GA is happy to announce that we have developed new markers for both Rha2 and Rha4, with a choice of assay formats (KASP and gel-based) for each.

Members of the Australian cereal breeding and pre-breeding community can access to primer sequences and assay protocols, by logging in to our project website.  CLICK HERE to login or to request a userid. Once you have logged in, click on MARKER RESOURCES.
[PROJECT: UA00143]

What is KASP? Why do we use it?

KASP (Kompetitive Allele-Specific PCR) is a genotyping technology from LGC Genomics. We use it as a quick and cost-effective way to turn DNA sequence differences (SNPs and indels) into marker assays that we can test on mapping populations and validation panels.  For the markers that work best, we release both the original DNA sequence and the KASP primer sequences. Breeders and pre-breeders can then:
  • run the KASP assay themselves, or
  • have the KASP assay run by a service provider, or
  • use the DNA sequence to develop an assay for their preferred technology platform.
Since not everyone has access to equipment needed for fluorescence-based assays (a plate reader or a qPCR machine), we also develop versions for agarose gels.
[PROJECT: UA00143]

AWBMMP-ET: Next-generation genetics

The new project Next-Generation Genetics for Pre-breeding Research (DAV00127) supports GRDC-funded pre-breeding projects by providing access to technology platforms and support for data analysis and interpretation. Currently supported technologies include Beadchip SNP genotyping, genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS), capture-based sequencing and transcript profiling. DAV00127 provides labour and analytical expertise whilst the supported GRDC project covers laboratory consumables.

For further information, contact Kerrie Forrest (03 9032 7066), Matthew Hayden (03 9032 7084) or Colin Cavanagh (02 6246 4974).

SNP arrays: Publications and data

A paper reporting on the 9K wheat SNP array has been published in PNAS ( manuscript on the 90K wheat SNP array has been submitted to the Plant Biotechnology Journal, and is now undergoing minor revisions.
Members of the Australian cereal breeding and pre-breeding community can access
  • The 90K manuscript and its supplementary files, including data on flanking sequences, genetic maps, physical assignments and synteny information
  • Similar data for the 9K wheat SNP array
  • Barley SNP databases
by logging in to the GA project website.  CLICK HERE to login or to request a userid. Once you have logged in, click on MARKER RESOURCES.

Copyright © 2013 Australian Wheat and Barley Molecular Marker Program, All rights reserved.