Wheat Code Finally Cracked

Tuesday, August 21, 2018
Kansas State University scientists, in collaboration with the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, published a detailed description of the complete genome of bread wheat, the world’s most widely-cultivated crop (a highly complex and elusive genome). This work will pave the way for the production of wheat varieties better adapted to climate challenges, with higher yields, enhanced nutritional quality and improved sustainability.

The research article — authored by more than 200 scientists from 73 research institutions in 20 countries — presents the reference genome of the bread wheat variety Chinese Spring. The DNA sequence ordered along the 21 wheat chromosomes is the highest-quality genome sequence produced to date for wheat. It is the result of 13 years of collaborative international research and the support of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture, Kansas farmers and many others. “Completion of the sequence is a landmark event that will serve as a critical foundation for future wheat improvement,” said Allan Fritz, Kansas State University professor of agronomy and wheat breeder.

NIFA funded support of this research through the National Research Initiative

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