Website to Speed Discovery of Grain Genes

The gargantuan size of the wheat genome, including its complex composition, has been a considerable challenge for scientists sleuthing the structure and function of cereal-crop genes. To aid in the discovery of the wheat’s mostly unfamiliar genes, scientists from the Agricultural Research Service (ARS) developed GrainGenes, a website that provides some of the newest research information in wheat, barley, oats and rye.

“With GrainGenes,” says Olin D. Anderson, Head of ARS Genomics and Gene Discovery Research Unit, “researchers can avoid accidentally repeating experiments that others in the United States or abroad have already conducted.” Aside from information on structure and function of wheat genes, GrainGenes also offers maps of chromosome regions where genes controlling traits of interest are located, and details about the pedigree and performance of 32,000 kinds of commercial wheat, rye, and triticale. Since users can share their data, the site hastens the free exchange of information. Bibliographic references to pertinent scientific papers and reports, as well as names and addresses of more than 2,000 scientists worldwide who are conducting small-grains research are also available in the website.

Visit GrainGenes at http://wheat.pw.usda.gov/ For more information, read http://www.ars.usda.gov/is/AR/archive/may08/genes0508.htm

This article is part of the Crop Biotech Update, a weekly summary of world developments in agri-biotech for developing countries, produced by the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology, International Service for the Aquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications SEAsiaCenter (ISAAA)

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