Wheat Update December 25, 2020

Wheat Update December 25, 2020

Kansas State University researchers, in collaboration with the international 10+ Genome Project led by the University of Saskatchewan, have announced the complete genome sequencing of 15 wheat varieties representing breeding programs around the world, an invaluable resource to improve global wheat production. This effort gained momentum in 2018 when the K-State team, in collaboration with the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium, published the genome assembly of Chinese Spring, the first complete reference genome of bread wheat. This study represents the start of a larger effort to generate thousands of genome sequences of wheat, including genetic material brought in from wheat’s wild relatives. According to Jesse Poland, associate professor at K-State and director of the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Applied Wheat Genomics and the Wheat Genetics Resource Center, "Our team was uniquely suited "to represent US wheat in this effort "here in America’s breadbasket "and as a land-grant institution "with a strong history in wheat research. "We are fortunate to have world leaders "in breeding and genetics under one roof, "and generous support from the National Science Foundation, "Kansas Wheat and many others." The Kansas team was responsible for sequencing and analyzing the hard red winter wheat variety Jagger, released in 1994 by the K-State breeding program. Jagger was a landmark wheat variety in the Great Plains and covered millions of acres for many years. It was selected for this project because of its relevance as a breeding parent, as it is found in the pedigrees of current varieties across the US.

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