The more the merrier when it comes to wheat crops
Human somatic cells are diploid, meaning they have paired chromosomes, one from each parent. More than 50 % of all plants are polyploids, wheat being one of them. In polyploidy, cells have multiple copies of identical or similar chromosome sets. This means many genes are present as two or three homoeologous copies with overlapping functions, making genetic engineering for crop intensification challenging. The EU-funded dcPolyWheat project is using state-of-the-art genomics techniques to characterise the wheat genome and apply targeted genome editing to control wheat phenotypic variation in a way that enhances productivity. Success will not only enhance our ability to produce more wheat for a growing global population but should also pave the way to a similar capability for other polyploid crops.
Fields of science
Funding SchemeERC-COG - Consolidator Grant
NR4 7UH Norwich
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