NEW YORK (GenomeWeb) – NRGene has mapped the complete wild Emmer wheat genome, the company said last week.
Wild Emmer wheat possesses genes that aren't present in cultivated wheat, which enables the plant to tolerate severe environmental conditions and better resist pests and diseases. Having access to the full genome map of Emmer wheat improves wheat research efforts and will help seed companies develop stronger and higher-yield grains at a fraction of the cost, according to NRGene.
"The long-term impact of the delivery of the Emmer wheat genome is almost immeasurable," NRGene CEO Gil Ronen said in a statement. "As most of the world receives a significant amount of its calories from wheat, we now expect a significant acceleration of wheat breeding, enhancing nutrition, increasing stability within the global wheat supply chain, and delivering direct economic benefits to farmers and the agricultural industry overall"
NRGene said that it completed the genome map in one month at a cost of less than $500,000. It used its DeNovoMAGIC software and GenoMAGIC tools to reassemble genome sequences and identify genetic components that could be used to breed improved wheat varieties.