Sequenced wheat genome will help scientists combat disease in earth’s most widely-grown crop

wheat weaving twisted grain like
Image: Deposit Photos

The complete sequence of the huge wheat genome [was published August 16th], and the enormous dataset will accelerate innovation in breeding resilient and disease resistant crops to feed a growing global population.

Wheat is the most widely-cultivated crop on Earth. It provides more protein than meat in the human diet, and contributes about a fifth of calories consumed by humans …. But wheat is susceptible to drought and flood, and swathes of the crop are damaged each year by diseases such as wheat rust. The sequencing of its genome paves the way for much faster production of wheat varieties adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality ….

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Ricardo Ramirez-Gonzalez, a Scientific Programmer at the John Innes Centre adds:

“The genome is really a tool that allows us to address the challenges around food security and environmental change. We believe that we can boost wheat improvement in the next few years in the same way that rice and maize were refined after their sequences were completed.”

Read full, original article: Previously grainy wheat genome comes into focus

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