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Scientists sequence wheat genome in “impossible” breakthrough

Sequencing the wheat genome – once considered by scientists to be an insurmountable task – has been achieved through a worldwide collaboration of researchers spanning 13 years.

On Friday the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) published a detailed description of the genome of bread wheat in the journal Science.

Obtaining a high-quality reference sequence of bread wheat genome has been an important goal because, as the most widely grown crop worldwide, it is essential for food security. Recent heatwaves in northern Europe, Asia and Canada will have a major effect on wheat production in 2018, and pests, salinity and climate change have wiped out crops. To meet future demands of a projected world population of 9.6bn by 2050, wheat productivity needs to increase by 1.6% each year.

Read more at The Guardian

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