Harvest of genome data for wheat growers

Liz is a staff writer for Science.

The wheat genome, with subgenomes full of repetitive stretches of DNA, was once considered impossible to sequence. But in 2005, some Kansas wheat farmers decided that a genome on par with that of rice was necessary to breed the best varieties of their crop. Their drive bore fruit this week, as the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium has produced a survey sequence, covering about 61% of the genome, of a strain of bread wheat, and an in-depth sequence of the cereal's largest chromosome, 3B. The consortium is now seeking support for in-depth sequencing of the other chromosomes. However, a group that published a very rough draft of the wheat genome 2 years ago is plowing ahead with its own ambitious project to produce a better, full genome.

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Posted in Biology, Biology