Crop Biotech Update

Genetic Blueprint of Bread Wheat Genome Unveiled

July 23, 2014

The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) has published in Science a draft sequence of the bread wheat genome. The draft sequence provides new insight into the structure, organization, and evolution of the world's most widely grown cereal crop.

The consortium has established the first reference sequence for the largest chromosome, 3B, which could serve as a template for sequencing the remaining chromosomes. Catherine Feuillet, IWGSC co-chair, said "With the draft gene sequence for each of the bread wheat chromosome and the first reference sequence of chromosome 3B, we have reached a great milestone in our roadmap."

With a chromosome-based full sequence in hand, plant breeders now have high quality tools at their disposal to speed up breeding programs and identify how genes control complex traits such as yield, grain quality, disease, pest resistance, or abiotic stress tolerance. They will be able to produce a new generation of wheat varieties with higher yields and improved sustainability to meet the demands of a growing world population in a changing environment.

For more details about this research, read the news release available at: http://www.wheatgenome.org/News/Press-releases/Draft-sequence/Press-releases/Genetic-blueprint-of-bread-wheat-genome-unveiled.