Sexual reproduction has many advantages in creating novel combinations of alleles but also poses new challenges. Upon fusion of the male and the female gamete, the parental genomes have to find a balance in the newly forming embryo. As the resources are limited, the mother restricts the embryo growth. In contrast, the father’s interest is to channel the nutrition flow towards its own progeny and outcompete the offspring of other fathers. The differential interests of both parents during the embryo development have been described as the “parental conflict”. Evolutionary solution to this problem was an establishment of uniparental gene expression during embryonic development called gene imprinting.
Here, we proposed a research project focusing on the “Identification and characterization of imprinted genes during barley seed development”. Cultivated barley (Hordeum vulgare subsp. vulgare) is the fourth most important cereal crop worldwide, which is used for animal feed, malting, food, biofuels, cosmetics, and molecular farming. Barley is a well-established temperate zone model cereal with the sequenced and annotated genome, genetic resources including collections of landraces, mutants, and wild species as well as easy cultivation. Barley introgressions are also used for improving wheat germplasms.