National Science and Engineering Week: Ten great discoveries – Sequencing the wheat genome

Wheat-1wFor National Science and Engineering Week, we are celebrating 10 great scientific advances made at the University of Liverpool. Over the 10 days of the event, we will be highlighting a different research discovery each day to show what science can achieve.

In the first of our showcase series, we are looking at Liverpool’s success in sequencing the wheat genome to help tackle issues of global food shortage.

In 2010 Professor Neil Hall and his team in the Institute of Integrative Biology successfully decoded the genome of the world’s most popular cereal crop, unlocking huge opportunities for farmers.

Despite being five times larger than the human genome, advances in technology made it possible for Professor Hall to decode wheat in a year, compared to the 15 years it took to decode the human genome.

Before this was accomplished, wheat breeders had few genetic tools to help them select key agricultural traits for breeding and did not always know the genes responsible for the trait they needed.

With a soaring global population and the effects of climate change altering farmland around the world, this advance has made it possible for farmers to increase yields and combat diseases.

To see the other nine great advances, visit the University’s news pages during National Science and Engineering Week (14-23 March).

If you want to find out more about genomics at the University of Liverpool, visit at the Centre for Genomic Research website, or go to our study pages to find out more about studying genetics.



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