Scientists for first time decode complex wheat genome

Team of international researchers including 18 Indian scientists for first time have decoded wheat genome. In this research, DNA sequence of bread wheat was successfully ordered and it represents highest quality genome sequence generated to date for such wheat variety.

Key Facts

The research conducted by more than 200 scientists from 73 research institutions in 20 countries. The reference enome decoded covers 94% (14.5 Gb) of entire wheat genome. Team of 18 Indian scientists contributed in decoding of Chromosome 2A of wheat genome. This project was financially supported by Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science and Technology.

Significance

The research shows that bread wheat has complex hexaploid genome which is 40 times larger than that of rice genome and 5 times larger than human genome. Information generated by decoded wheat genome will help to identify genes controlling complex agronomic traits such as yield, grain quality, resistance to diseases and pests as well as tolerance to drought, heat, water logging and salinity. The availability of high quality reference genome will accelerate breeding of climate-resilient wheat varieties to feed ever-increasing world population and help address global food security in decades to come.

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