From: Kansas State University
Published July 10, 2017 01:39 PM

Kansas State University researchers help with landmark study of wild wheat ancestor

Kansas State University scientists are part of a breakthrough study in which an international team of researchers has successfully deciphered all 10 billion letters in the genetic code of a wild ancestor of wheat.

Their work is published in the July 7 issue of Science Magazine.

“The relative of wheat is called wild emmer, which is one of the founding crops of human society,” said Eduard Akhunov, professor of plant pathology and wheat genomics at Kansas State University. “Wild emmer was one of the first crops that was domesticated 10,000 years ago, which was a critical step in moving from hunting and gathering to an agricultural society.”

By knowing the genetic code of wild emmer, scientists can now compare its DNA to modern varieties to fully understand how wheat has evolved over thousands of years. With that information, they can better understand the genes that provide important traits such as drought and heat tolerance, or resistance to various diseases and pests.

Read more at Kansas State University

Photo: ''Professor Eduard Akhunov'' by Kansas State University is licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

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