Wheat Framework Data Initiatives
Bioplatforms Australia is creating wheat datasets to complement important research aimed at improving crop yields and wheat defence mechanisms.
As a staple food crop for the world’s population and Australia’s most important grain export, its economic significance and potential for global food security will ensure that large scale genomic datasets will make an invaluable contribution to current and on-going research.
The project involves a broad collaboration across research, industry and government sectors to ensure the datasets focus on varieties significant to the Australian wheat industry and cover critical pathogens and pests. The sequencing work program focused on the following:
The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium (IWGSC) has engaged a number of countries around the world to tackle the sequencing and assembly of the wheat genome, with Australia taking responsibility for chromosome 7A. The complete wheat genome is five times larger than the human genome and presents a huge assembly challenge for scientists. Genetic analysis undertaken so far has linked a number of genes important for Australian conditions to chromosome 7A.
Genetic Diversity Datasets
Next-generation sequencing was undertaken to generate between 5 and 10 x coverage of sixteen varieties chosen to represent the diversity of the Australian wheat germplasm. These datasets build on the wheat reference genome to describe genetic variability of important cultivars and enable breeders to identify beneficial traits that can positively enhance wheat productivity in Australia.
Wheat Defence – read more here.
Further information can also be found at the Bioplatforms Australia Data Portal.