Wheat genome project yields promising results

In what is being called a landmark discovery, an international team of scientists has sequenced the genomes of 15 wheat varieties representing breeding programs around the world.

Kansas State University researcher Jesse Poland says their findings will enable scientists and breeders to more quickly identify influential genes for improved yield and other traits.

“We can sample the DNA and predict what kind of yield, what kind of baking quality, and other traits that this new-candidate variety would have,” Poland says.

While it currently takes eight to ten years to develop a new wheat variety, Poland says their research will accelerate that development cycle.

“Down to even a few years—and in the future, hopefully, be able to push that to just a one- or two-year cycle,” he says.

Poland says the study represents the start of a larger effort to generate thousands of genome sequences of wheat.

Link to news release

AUDIO: Jesse Poland

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