Tag Archives: breeding

Molecular Biology 101: Synteny, Conservation and two wheat genomes

Somehow between going to the Netherlands, the Easter break, a week-long lab course and a conference talk to write I managed to miss not just one, but two really interesting, exciting and useful papers in Nature (Incidentally, I try not to write too much on here related to my PhD: I’m always a little scared that I’ll end up saying similar things about papers in my literature review and then being pulled up for plagiarism or something, but these are two interesting to miss.) But I digress.

Sequencing the wheat A and D genomes

Two weeks ago a consortium of Chinese and American scientists published two papers about sequencing both the A and the D genome progenitors for bread wheat. (Quick re-cap for the un-initiated. Wheat is a hexaploid i.e. instead of having one maternal and one paternal copy of each chromosome – that is, 2 in total, it has 3 pairs of each, making its genotype AABBDD). This is pretty big news for a couple of reasons: Continue reading


Molecular Biology 101: QTL mapping, and salt-tolerant chick peas

At the time of writing, the world population clock shows the total number of people on Earth as 7, 052, 499, 082. A smidge over 7 billion. And according to the FAO around 1 billion of those people are starving. The current prediction is that by 2050 the world population will have increased to around 9 billion people, and in order to feed all of those people we will need to produce at least 70% more food than we currently do. (We’re also eating more meat, which is more energetically expensive, because not all of the energy in a bowl of corn goes into the meat of the chicken who eats it, which is why it’s so much higher than 2/7.)

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