Mighty Wheat

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Science  03 Oct 2008:
Vol. 322, Issue 5898, pp. 12
DOI: 10.1126/science.322.5898.12d

All over the world, wheat is one of the most important food crops, but due to its large and complex genome it has been deemed an impossible genome to sequence. Now Paux et al.(p. 101) have tackled the first task needed to get at the full genome by constructing a physical map of the largest wheat chromosome, chromosome 3B. At 1 gigabase, this chromosome alone is larger than all of the rice and human genomes. This feat demonstrates that, in the relatively near future, it should be possible to develop a physical map of large polyploid plant genomes (17 gigabases) using a chromosome-based strategy.

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