Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Wheat geneticists work to decode massive genome

From page A4 | October 23, 2013 |

An international effort aimed at sequencing a wheat ancestor’s genome — which is 40 percent larger than the human genome — is being led by UC Davis scientists.

The project, recently funded by a $9 million grant from the National Science Foundation’s Plant Genome Research project, is focused on better understanding the genetics of bread wheat, one of three cereals that provide most of the world’s food. Bread wheat also has the distinction of having a genome that consists of three genomes from separate species, each with a complexity and size that make genetic decoding exceptionally difficult.

The project will sequence the genome of the goatgrass Aegilops tauschii, a wild relative of common bread wheat that is responsible for the bread-making quality found in wheat. It also is highly tolerant of salt, drought, aluminum, frost, pests and many wheat diseases.

In studying the Ae. tauschii genome, scientists plan to identify the genes controlling the important environmental tolerance and resistance traits, and gain a finer understanding of the biological causes behind the enormous sizes of many plant genomes. The Ae. tauschii code also will provide geneticists with a badly needed reference for wheat genomics and sequence assembly.

The effort already has produced its first practical outcome: the discovery of a gene with a resistance to wheat stem rust, recently published as a cover article in the journal Science.

Geneticists previously had hoped to decode the wheat and Ae. tauschii genomes using the shotgun sequencing approach, which is like piecing together a book from millions of random sentence fragments. The team, instead, is using an approach known as “ordered clone sequencing” to generate a high-quality blueprint of the Ae. tauschii genome, along with nanomapping, which traps DNA molecules in nano-sized channels where their unique pattern is visualized and quantified.

“This is really an exciting technology,” said Jan Dvorak, a lead scientist on the team, as well as a UCD professor and geneticist. “For the first time in genome sequencing, we have an independent means to check the accuracy of the genome sequence assembly and correct errors and fill gaps.”

Ming-Cheng Luo, a co-investigator and UCD geneticist, worked with BioNano Genomics, the manufacturer of the sequencing instrument, to adapt the technology to ordered clone sequencing.

“This technology will now be available to all the genomic programs in the campus community,” Luo said.

The genome project is a partnership between UCD and a number of U.S. and Chinese institutions, with additional support from the Chinese Wheat Genome Working Group. Several visiting scientists and students also are involved with the project.

Other co-investigators include Yong Qiang Gu and Olin Anderson of UCD/USDA-ARS, Katrien Devos of the University of Georgia and Steven Salzberg of Johns Hopkins University.

— UC Davis News Service



  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .


    Report details the face of hunger in Yolo County

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Summer jobs: a scramble for spots, extra cash

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Davis Arts Center gets a new look, thanks to Brooks

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    The big moveout, on ‘Davisville’

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sunder campaign will be at Farmers Market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Classic car show slated in Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Students can practice safe bike routes to junior highs

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

    ‘Monsters University’ to be screened in Central Park

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    California regulators approve PG&E rate hike

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B3

    America’s ‘it’ school? Look west, Harvard

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: B3

    School board preps for new academic year

    By Jeff Hudson | From Page: A3

    Public opinion sought about Nishi Gateway

    By Lily Holmes | From Page: A4

    Woodland historical award winners announced

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A8

    Davis Art Garage honored; bench dedication set

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8 | Gallery



    Delta-friendly water bond is a win for all of California

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Bravo! The road diet works

    By Rich Rifkin | From Page: A6

    Support water bond in November

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Relay for Life team says thanks

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6



    Aggie QB Baty is back to pass … Touchdown, Tina! Tina?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    I’m not an ‘athlete’ but curling is hard

    By Evan Ream | From Page: B1

    Hard hoops schedule features defending national champ at UCD

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Crisp’s big hit helps A’s

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD roundup: Aggie gymnasts are awesome at academics

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Sacramento scores early to snap skid

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    Unplayable? Cubs, rain hand Giants a loss

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B8



    Food that travels well for cooking out

    By Julie Cross | From Page: A5 | Gallery



    Crowd funding campaign offers support for Art Theater of Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Visit Crawfish and Catfish Festival in Woodland

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

    Artists invited to paint at Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Goldberg, Milstein to play at Village Homes

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    The voice on the CD comes alive at Music Together concert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7





    Railroad museum will host Aberbach memorial

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4



    Comics: Wednesday, August 20, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6