Biotech Updates

International Study Decodes the Genome of 15 Wheat Varieties

December 9, 2020

Photo Source: New Food Magazine

A landmark discovery for genomes of 15 wheat varieties which represents breeding around the world has been sequenced by an international group of scientists led by the University of Saskatchewan (USask).

According to Curtis Pozniak, Director of USask Crop Development Center (CDC), the discovery is "like finding the missing pieces on your favorite puzzle that you have been working on for decades." This piece of the missing puzzle will enable scientists and breeders to identify integral genes for better yield, pest resistance, and other important crop traits that are essential in producing and accelerating its yield. Furthermore, the discovery will not only aid in providing knowledge to reach a better yield but also help scientists around the world on how to control new pests and diseases that can be detrimental to wheat.

The research team conducted a comparative analysis of the genomes and found massive structural rearrangements, with gene contents that are far from the wild relatives' caused by complex breeding throughout history to improve the wheat traits.

"Understanding a causal gene like this is a game-changer for breeding because you can select for pest resistance more efficiently by using a sample DNA test than by manual field testing," concludes Pozniak.

To learn more about this discovery, read the article in Nature and New Food Magazine.

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