Scientists make wheat genetic code breakthrough

By REUTERS
November 28, 2012 20:04

 
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LONDON - Scientists from Britain, Germany and the United States have unlocked key components of the genetic code for wheat, helping to create varieties that are more productive and better able to cope with disease, drought and other crop stresses.

The identification of around 96,000 wheat genes, and insights into the links between them, comes just two years after UK researchers published the raw data of the wheat genome.

"Since 1980, the rate of increase in wheat yields has declined," said one of the project leaders, Keith Edwards of the University of Bristol.

"Analysis of the wheat genome sequence data provides a new and very powerful foundation for breeding future generations of wheat more quickly and more precisely, to help address this problem," he added.

The research was published in the journal Nature on Wednesday.

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