Wheat Genome Sequencing Hailed as Breakthrough
Washington--Agriculture Department scientists working as part of an international team have completed a “shotgun sequencing” of the wheat genome, a paper published in the journal Nature reported today. The achievement is expected to increase wheat yields, help feed the world and speed up development of wheat varieties with enhanced nutritional value.
“By unlocking the genetic secrets of wheat, this study and others like it give us the molecular tools necessary to improve wheat traits and allow our farmers to produce yields sufficient to feed growing populations in the United States and overseas,” said Catherine Woteki, USDA’s chief scientist and undersecretary for research, education and economics. “Genetics provides us with important methods that not only increase yields, but also address the ever-changing threats agriculture faces from natural pests, crop diseases and changing climates.”