Evening Telegraph (First Edition)

Academic awarded £600,000


A UNIVERSITY of Dundee academic has been awarded more than £600,000 to study problems with the cereal crop barley.

Dr Sarah McKim, a school of life sciences researcher based at the James Hutton Institute, was awarded a BBSRC research grant to investigat­e the unfavourab­le trait called “skinning” and to develop tools to track it in breeding population­s.

Dr McKim said: “Skinning occurs when the barley grain husk does not completely adhere, or ‘stick’, to the barley grain.

“This is a problem during malting, where barley grain i s processed for brewing and distilling, as skinned barley performs badly and cannot be used.”

Dr McKim and her colleague Dr Chiara Campoli will study the waxy surfaces called cuticles on barley grain and how these vary in lines that show different degrees of skinning.

The work will take place in collaborat­ion with Professor Robbie Waugh, who is a co-investigat­or on the grant.

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