University of Dundee

Expert to share ground-breaking grains in crop science

17 May 2019

Cereals provide more calories in the human diet than any other source and their grains underpin beer and whisky production across the globe but we have ‘barley’ begun to harvest the secrets of our cereals, says a University of Dundee plant scientist.

Dr Sarah McKim, who specialises in the developmental biology of plants, will help the public gain an insight into the importance of our cereals by sharing how ground-breaking research in Dundee is increasing our understanding of how genes control cereal growth.

“Cereals such as barley have been around for thousands of years and continue to form the basis of our modern lifestyle, whether in the form of human food, animal feed or the drinks we consume, but we are only just beginning to understand how cereal crops develop and how this influences the quality and amount of grain produced,” said Dr McKim, of the University’s School of Life Sciences.

“Research at the University and the James Hutton Institute in Dundee has identified genes that control crop growth. By studying how these genes work, we can cultivate better barley crops. New developments in grains could dramatically benefit barley growers as well as the brewing and distilling industries, which are so important in Scotland.”

Dr McKim will discuss the techniques and insights of her research at Café Science Dundee on Monday 20th May 2019.

Her talk will take place in Avery & Co. at 34 South Tay Street at 7pm. This is a free event and everyone is welcome. There is no need to book in advance but arrive early to avoid disappointment.

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