British researchers, led by the University of Liverpool's Neil Hall, have released a draft sequence of the wheat genome, the BBC reports. The wheat genome, the BBC notes is "is five times larger than the human genome and is known to be a very complex structure, comprised of three independent genomes" and the researchers say that next-gen sequencing helped them tackle wheat. "Sequencing the human genome took 15 years to complete, but with huge advances in DNA technology, the wheat genome took only a year," Hall says. The Associated Press adds that the availability of the wheat genome could help farmers improve their yields, both by provide genetic markers for traits that breeders want to select for and by genetic engineering. However, a resource scarcity expert at New York University, Alexander Evans, cautions that "we have to be very careful about saying that science will feed the world."
Land of Wheat
Aug 27, 2010