Abstract

Wheat is one of the most widely grown crops in the world and it provides us with 20% of calories and proteins. We have farmed this plant since the dawn of agriculture many thousands of years ago. Our cultivated wheat species have more than two copies of every gene, making it a polyploid plant. When there are many copies of each gene it’s harder for mutations (changes in the sequence of DNA) to reveal themselves because the other copies hide the effects of the mutations, i.e. the plants carry these mutated genes but they look the same as the original wild varieties. We wanted to discover the mutations hidden in wheat plants, so we sequenced and cataloged more than 10 million mutations in 2735 mutant plants. We hope that this database of mutations in cultivated wheat will help researchers and breeders to study what different genes do and help them improve wheat varieties.

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Summary of research
Scientists wanted to discover the mutations hidden in wheat plants.
Reading level
Scientific field
Key words
Scientific methods
Type of figure
AP Environmental science topics
IB Biology topics
Location of research
Scientist Affiliation
Publication date
February 2019

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