The first sequence coverage of the wheat genome has been publicly released by a team of UK researchers.
The release is a step towards a fully annotated genome and makes a significant contribution to efforts to support global food security and to increase the competitiveness of UK farming. The work was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
The genome sequences released comprise five read-throughs of a reference variety of wheat and gives scientists and breeders access to 95% of all wheat genes. This is among the largest genome projects undertaken, and the rapid public release of the data is expected to significantly accelerate the use of the information by wheat breeding companies.
The team involved Professor Keith Edwards and Dr Gary Barker at the University of Bristol’s School of Biological Sciences, Professor Neil Hall and Dr Anthony Hall at the University of Liverpool, and Professor Mike Bevan at the John Innes Centre, a BBSRC-funded Institute.
The wheat genome data has been made publicly available via EMBL/GenBank and CerealsDB for analysis and application. Open access release of the data was a condition of the original BBSRC support for this project. These data will now be submitted for publication in peer-reviewed journals.
The sequence data can be used by scientists and plant breeders to develop new varieties through accelerated conventional breeding or other technologies.