The Google map for wheat — scientists crack crop’s genome sequence

Scientists have cracked the DNA sequence code of wheat — a major breakthrough that could improve global food security and offer comfort for those allergic to the world’s most common crop.

Wheat points Key points: Breakthrough offers new hope for global food security Research effort was a collaboration between 73 institutes in 20 countries and took 13 years to complete Researchers can now track the parts of wheat that relate to coeliac disease and other allergies

The research effort involved 73 institutes in 20 countries and will allow the faster breeding and production of new wheat varieties, including those that are drought and frost tolerant.

The breakthrough means that farmers will now be armed with better information about quality, yield, diseases and a crop’s resistance to stress such as frost or drought.

And with wheat being one of the world’s major food sources, that could also mean improved outcomes for global food security.

Professor Rudi Appels led the Australian team’s contribution through Agriculture Victoria and said the research had offered ‘a map’ of the highly complex crop.

The genome of an organism has been described as being like having a detailed road map that contains everything you need to know about maintaining that organism.

Professor Appels said it was like having a Google map for wheat.