In DepthAgriculture

Detailed genome maps paths to better wheat

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Science  17 Aug 2018:
Vol. 361, Issue 6403, pp. 635
DOI: 10.1126/science.361.6403.635

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Summary

The world's mostly widely planted cereal has also proved to be among the hardest to improve. Plant breeders vastly increased wheat yields during the Green Revolution of the 1960s, but since then efforts to improve the crop through traditional breeding or genetic technology have been painstakingly slow because of the wheat genome's fiendish complexity. Thanks to a decadelong effort, that genome has finally come into sharp focus, speeding the search for genes that could boost wheat harvests and even make it less likely to trigger allergies. Wheat geneticists say the newly finished genome has transformed their research as they and others gained early access to it. Already many have taken advantage of this new road map to locate genes essential for improving this crop.