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Wheat Genome Finally Cracked

International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC), a massive collaboration of academic and industry researchers from 20 countries has finally cracked down the complex genome of wheat after 13 years of collaborative international research.. The detailed description of the genome of bread wheat, the world’s most widely cultivated crop pinpoints 107,000 genes on the 21 chromosomes.The DNA sequence ordered along the 21 wheat chromosomes is the highest quality genome sequence produced to date for wheat. Availability of a high-quality reference genome sequence will boost wheat improvement over the next decades, with benefits similar to those observed with maize and rice after their reference sequences were produced. Further,this work will open the doors for  production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.

Sequencing the bread wheat genome was long considered an daunting task for researchers, due to its enormous size;five times larger than the human genome  and complexity;bread wheat has three sub-genomes and more than 85% of the genome is composed of repeated elements.

The complete article on wheat genome is published in “Science” and is entitled “Shifting the limits in wheat research and breeding using a fully annotated reference genome” . The research article is authored by more than 200 scientists from 73 research institutions in 20 countries and presents the reference genome of the bread wheat variety Chinese Spring.

Article can be  read here

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