Scientists: We’ve Cracked Wheat’s Genetic Code

Associated Press.  27 August 2010.  British scientists have decoded the genetic sequence of wheat — one of the world’s oldest and most important crops — a development they hope could help the global staple meet the challenges of climate change, disease and population growth.

Hard Red Winter Wheat, Lodi, California

Wheat is grown across more of the world’s farmland than any other cereal, and researchers said Friday they’re posting its genetic code to the Internet in the hope that scientists can use it as a tool to improve farmers’ harvests. One academic in the field called the discovery “a landmark.”

“The wheat genome is the holy grail of plant genomes,” said Nick Talbot, a professor of biosciences at the University of Exeter who wasn’t involved in the research. “It’s going to really revolutionize how we breed it.”  read more