Complex Bread Wheat Genome Cracked
The genome of bread wheat contains a staggering 100,000 genes.
The genome of bread wheat, the grass-turned-crop whose cultivation ushered in the rise of civilization, has been mapped by an international consortium.
The genome's unusual size and form made the sequencing especially difficult for the team led by scientists from Germany, the United States, the Czech Republic, and Canada, they report in today's Science. The gene map reveals unexpected surprises about the evolution of the crop behind the staff of life.
"It's always astonishing [that] the number of genes does not directly translate into the complexity of the organism," said Klaus Mayer, director of genome analytics with the Plant Genome and Systems Biology Group at the Helmholtz Center Munich and one of the leaders of the project.
The genome of