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Crop Biotech Update

Scientists Solve the Mystery of Exchanging Genes

August 13, 2014

Scientists at the John Innes Centre discovered the genetic mechanism that control wheat breeding. This discovery is important in breeding more valuable crops and produce more yield for food.

Prof. Graham Moore and team found how Ph1 region in the wheat genome controls exchange of genes. This region is responsible for preventing incorrect chromosomes in exchanging parts with each other. The team discovered that the proteins produced by the Ph1 region reduce the activity of proteins which bind to the sections of the chromosomes where the DNA exchange occurs. This prevents gene swapping between chromosomes. The discovery of how these plants stabilize their genomes and protect their fertility could lead to ways for breeders to temporarily ‘turn off' Ph1.

For more details about the research, visit