News

Based on studies in Georgia, this is how an forgotten ancient wild wheat can serve modern varieties

Wheat
Georgia
Published Nov 9, 2021

Tridge summary

Serious genetic detective work has revealed the hitherto unknown ancestor of modern bread wheat. This was done using the same technique used to find distant relatives who were believed to be lost in humans.

Original content

(Aegilops tauschii) Dr. Kumar Gaurav, of the John Innes Center, led a population genetic analysis that shed light on a group of goat wheat with well-distinguished genetics. The range of the study population is in what is now Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Israel, Jordan and Egypt in what is now Georgia, Georgia, in the Caucasus region, about 500 kilometers from the fertile crescent where wheat was first grown. Gaurav, lead author of a study in the journal Nature Biotechnology, said: "The discovery of a hitherto unknown plant population defining the genome of bread wheat is like revealing the introgression of Neanderthal DNA into the genome of people outside Africa." He added that there was presumably hybridization between the two wheat species somewhere in the area outside the fertile crescent. The Georgian population represents a well-separated line that contributed to the creation of today's modern wheat gene pool, and traces of this can be detected at the DNA level. Modern ...
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