Wheat genome decoded

09 December 2012
Posted by Kat Arney.

The genome of your breakfast toast - or at least the wheat that goes into it - is surprisingly complex. But now an international team of scientists from the UK, US and Germany have published the first analysis of the wheat genome, publishing it in the journal Nature. The researchers revealed that wheat has around 96,000 genes, and understanding what they do and how they work and interact will help to improve wheat crops as the world changes. The scientists hope their analysis will help speed up the development of new varieties of wheat that can cope better with disease, drought and other stresses that can cause crop failure. AS food security and climate change become ever more pressing issues, research like this is helping to put food on our plates - and bread in our toasters - in the future.

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