Genomic research opened doors for AES plant breeders. Between 1993 and 2012, AES barley breeders released 12 new varieties of barley to help farmers diversify their crops and cash in on a growing interest in microbrews and whole-grain diets. Researchers worked to identify genes that allow barley to withstand low temperatures, resist disease, and survive with little water and nitrogen. They also looked for genes responsible for malting quality, nutritional properties, and flowering time.
Additionally, OSU is testing how its new cultivars hold up in the kitchen by developing new products with them like tortillas, pretzels, baguettes, pita breads, sourdoughs, and focaccia.