Friday, November 27, 2020

Wheat researchers gain more insights

Wheat breeders have gained new insights into the genetics that make up some of the world’s best varieties.

An international team led by the University of Guelph has sequenced the genome for 15 varieties. Two years ago researchers had the first wheat genome for a single variety.

Armed with the new information, researchers can compare the varieties to pinpoint the genes most closely linked to yield, pest resistance and other important traits.

The 10+ Genome Project involved nearly 100 international scientists from universities and plant breeding institutes in Canada, Switzerland, Germany, Japan, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Israel, Australia, and the United States.

Their research results were recently published in Nature, an academic journal.

“This is huge,” said project co-leader Curtis Pozniak, a wheat breeder at the University of Saskatchewan’s Crop Development Centre.