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Crop Biotech Update

Global Team of Researchers and Scientists Publish Wild Emmer Wheat Genome

July 12, 2017

A global team of researchers led by Dr. Assaf Distelfeld of Tel Aviv University has published the first-ever genome of Wild Emmer wheat, the original form of nearly all domesticated wheat in the world, including durum and bread wheat.

Together with researchers and scientists from institutions around the world, the team has created a 'time tunnel' that can be used to examine wheat from before the origins of agriculture. The new resource has enabled the team to identify a number of genes that control the main traits that early humans selected in domesticating wheat. The genes will be used in future wheat breeding efforts.

The team has assembled the very large and complex genome found in Wild Emmer's 14 chromosomes, and for the first time, the sequences are collapsed into a refined order. Dr. Distelfeld concludes, "We now have the tools to study crops directly and to make and apply our discoveries more efficiently than ever before."

For more details, read the Tel Aviv University News.