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Luke Ramsay

Staff picture: Luke Ramsay
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Cell and Molecular Sciences
Barley Geneticist
+44 (0)344 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Dundee DD2 5DA
Scotland UK


Current research interests

  • My main interest is in the patterns of genetic variation shown by elite barley cultivars and the use of this information to gain insights into the control of characters of economic, agronomic and environmental importance.
  • The patterns of genetic variation shown by current elite barley varieties are influenced by both the population history of recent breeding programme objectives (introduction of disease resistance genes etc.) and also by more fundamental constraints of the genetics and genome architecture of barley that also form a focus of my research.
  • In addition, studies into the variation of current barley varieties has led to an interest in the history of barley breeding and in the older cultivated forms of the UK and in particular Scotland.  This includes the six-row bere barleys that are unique to Scotland and still grown in the Northern and Western isles.

Past research

My initial research was based around studies on the quantitative genetics of Brassica spp. (University of Birmingham and John Innes Centre).  However since coming to the Institute I have concentrated almost exclusively on barley and have been involved mainly in the development of molecular markers and their application to questions relating to the patterns of genetic and functional diversity in barley.

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The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.