Genome of 6,000-year-old barley grains sequenced for first time

Discovering new data on barley domestication

An international team of researchers has succeeded for the first time in sequencing the genome of Chalcolithic barley grains. This is the oldest plant genome to be reconstructed to date. The 6,000 years old seeds were retrieved from Yoram Cave in the southern cliff of Masada fortress in the Judean Desert in Israel, close to the Dead Sea. Genetically, the prehistoric barley is very similar to present-day barley grown in the Southern Levant supporting the existing hypothesis of barley domestication having occurred in the Upper Jordan Valley. (Mehr in: Pressemitteilungen – idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft)