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‘Pan genome’ of world’s wheat could supply genetic variation to breed new crop varieties

The growing demand for wheat, the onset of global warming, and the transitioning of Western farming away from intensive agriculture, are exerting pressure on plant breeders to further adapt and improve modern bread wheat species. However, in order to select and breed new wheat cultivars with new and improved traits, plant breeders require plants with genetic variation for selection and combination during the breeding process.

In a new international study, the genetic diversity of 487 wheat genotypes originating from large parts of the world has been cataloged and contextualized with agronomic traits. The map of this rich pool of genetic diversity in bread wheat highlights our current knowledge of the ancestry of wheat and opens new avenues within modern selective wheat breeding.

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In this study, the exomes of 487 wheat genotypes from 68 countries around the world, including landraces, cultivars, as well as modern varieties, were sequenced …. The reported data is another step towards the assembly of the “pan genome” of wheat — the description of all the genes and genetic variations within wheat, which will be a valuable resource for plant researchers and wheat breeders alike.

Read full, original article: New avenues for improving modern wheat

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