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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Discover 'Hotspot' Regions in Wheat Genome for High Zinc Content

September 26, 2018

An international team of scientists has for the first time studied the genetics that underlie grain zinc concentrations in wheat. Analyzing zinc concentrations in the grain of 330 bread wheat lines across diverse environments in India and Mexico, the research team uncovered 39 new molecular markers associated with the trait, as well as two wheat genome segments that carry important genes for zinc uptake, translocation, and storage in wheat.

More than 17 percent of the world's population, largely across Africa and Asia, lack zinc in their diets, a factor responsible for the deaths of more than 400,000 children each year. Velu Govindan, wheat breeder at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and first author of the new report said that the collaboration among research centers in India, Australia, the USA, and Mexico will expedite breeding for higher zinc through use of ‘hotspot' genome regions and molecular markers.

For more details, read the news article from CIMMYT.