German researchers have mapped the genome for rye and are making it publicly available.
Eva Bauer, a plant researcher at the Technical University of Munich and lead author of the study, says rye has received less attention than wheat, barley and maize, which are more widely cultivated.
This meant there was less funding from industry to sequence the rye genome, which is about 250 per cent larger than the human genome.
Bauer said Monday that rye's ability to cope with droughts, poor soil and resist frost — which makes it popular in the colder climates of Central and Eastern Europe — is of particular interest for future research.
It was research in Canada that led to crossing of wheat and rye to create Triticale.
The hope, which has yet to be realized, was that the best genes of each could be combined to produce a high-yielding hardy grain that would be profitable for farmers and excellent nutrition for consumers, livestock and poultry.