GIFS researcher supports international team effort to sequence early domesticated wheat genome

GIFS researcher supports international team effort to sequence early domesticated wheat genome

Saskatoon, Aug. 30, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — A global team of scientists is looking to wheat’s past to help it thrive in the future.

Two dozen scientists have contributed to a project that sequenced and characterized the genomes of wild and domesticated einkorn, the world’s first domesticated wheat species.

At the University of Saskatchewan’s Global Institute for Food Security, Program Director, Resilient Agriculture Dr. Raju Tatla (PhD) is one of the contributors to this effort, providing molecular genomics and genetics expertise to support the analysis.

Their findings were published


In early August.

„Although significant advances have been made in the genetics of wheat species, the Triticum monococcum (einkorn) species representing the oldest domesticated wheat remains undefined,” Dutla said.

„The research advances and discoveries described in this article will open many new opportunities for global and Canadian wheat improvement efforts.”

Einkorn, still grown and consumed today, is a distant relative of modern bread wheat (Triticum aestivum). In


In the article, the researchers found that one percent of modern bread wheat originates from einkorn.

„Genome-sequencing insights from wild and domesticated accessions allow us to reconstruct the origin and evolution of einkorn,” said Dutla.

The research adds to a growing body of knowledge about wheat genetics, including other notable discoveries by University of Saskatchewan researchers. In 2020, a team led by Dr. Curtis Bosniak (PhD) of USask sequenced the genomes of 15 different wheat varieties. In that effort GIFS’ Dr. Includes contributions from Andrew Sharp (PhD) and its Omics and Precision Agriculture Laboratory (OPAL).

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These and other discoveries help improve the efficiency of wheat breeding programs, allowing researchers and breeders to quickly identify useful genes and traits that can improve crop production and resilience.

„Einkorn, a diploid wheat species, represents a significant diversity and genetic reservoir for many useful traits for climate resilience, disease resistance and nutritional quality for applications in wheat breeding,” said Dutla.

The international team of scientists includes researchers from King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, the UK Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia, the European Research Council and the US Department of Agriculture’s National Food Institute. Agriculture.

Dan Yates
Global Institute for Food Security
[email protected]

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