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Wheat Genomes: Chinese Spring lifts gloom


Wheat Genomes: Chinese Spring lifts gloom

Co-director Steve Hughes gives a cautious welcome to the sequencing of the wheat genome. Wheat has been prominent in the news lately in relation to future food security (writes Professor Hughes). For those of an optimistic disposition, the announcement(s) of the completion of a draft DNA sequence representing more than 95 per cent of the genome of the wheat variety Chinese Spring as an opening of the door to a new proposition for the breeding of improved varieties, possibly countered the woes from elsewhere such as the land grab for biofuels in Africa. After all, wheat is an adaptable food source, consumed across all the continents, with a global annual harvest of around 650 million tons and well worthy of having the best of genomics and enhanced breeding technologies on its case. Celebrate we should, but with perhaps a careful look at the broader perspective of institutional practices in the food chain. .

By E Genis, UK.

Health Policy Resource.