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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Discover 'Most Famous' Wheat Gene

September 18, 2014

Washington State University (WSU) researchers have discovered "the most famous wheat gene" that can be used to transfer valuable genes from other plants to wheat. The gene, which WSU Professor Kulvinder Gill called Ph1, makes wheat fertile and controls the orderly pairing of wheat chromosomes during reproduction. However, the gene also prevents wheat from breeding with related ancestors.

Gill said "Now that we have the gene, we can actually use that gene sequence to temporarily silence the gene and make rye and other chromosomes pair with wheat." Their first effort involves transferring a gene from jointed goatgrass, a wild relative of wheat, to confer resistance to stripe rust.

For more information, read the WSU news release at: