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Bayer CropScience Provides $1.4M for Wheat Genome Sequencing Effort

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium will receive roughly €1 million ($1.4 million) from Bayer CropScience over the next six months to complete a wheat genome sequencing and mapping project.

The IWGSC said today it will use the funds to develop complete physical maps for all 21 wheat chromosomes. This project will lay the foundation for a complete reference sequence of the hexaploid bread wheat genome, which should be completed by 2016 or 2017.

The full reference genome will enable researchers to identify and study the function of wheat genes, which will yield trait information to support the breeding of new varieties.

The consortium said the results of the BCS contribution to the project will be made publicly available, allowing scientists around the world to integrate this knowledge into their efforts to breed wheat varieties with increased tolerance to biotic and abiotic stresses.

IWGSC Co-chair Rudi Appels said in a statement that the "physical maps for isolated, individual, wheat chromosomes will facilitate direct linkage to traits used in the field and in breeding while also removing a significant roadblock towards achieving the reference sequence."