Eureka Genomics is developing a custom assay for the genotyping of barley, enabling identification of over 400 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in a single test. The assay will offer a low-cost opportunity for researchers to identify and optimize traits such as yield, quality, and environmental resilience for commercial crop production.

“As the Eureka technology offers the flexibility to increase both the number of SNPs and samples per assay at low additional cost, we are already focused on improving SNP representation and multiplex capability, further reducing the cost per datapoint, a key requirement for widespread adoption in commercial plant breeding,” said Robbie Waugh, head of genetics at the James Hutton Institute.

The marker assay (LDMA) being offered by Eureka Genomics provides an alternative to traditional technologies for profiling hundreds of SNPs (or other genetic markers) in thousands of samples using next generation sequencing. According to the company, the assay can be broadly applied to the detection of SNPs, CNV, presence/absence, and methylation and is compatible with DNA or RNA from virtually any organism, even when genome information may be incomplete.

“The LDMA lets researchers design profiling panels that target the markers that matter most for their project, rather than wasting time and resources getting data that is irrelevant to their goals,” said Andrea White, director of business development for Eureka Genomics.”

Barley is the world’s fourth most important cereal and has worldwide economic value for brewing and whisky-distilling industries, animal feed, and potential for improving human health. By developing the barley panel in conjunction with the James Hutton Institute based in Scotland, Eureka Genomics will be able to introduce the assay both in Europe and in the U.S. next month.

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