Bayer and Evogene reach milestone in wheat traits
Rehovot/Monheim – Bayer Crop Science may be a step closer to introducing desirable traits in wheat. In the collaboration with Israeli Evogene Ltd. the German company has reached a milestone.
Utilising Evogene‘s proprietary tools, more than 200,000 single- nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across the wheat genome were identified. SNPs “are single-nucleotide substitutions of one base in the genome and a powerful type of molecular marker for traits improvement,” Bayer said. Noting that the wheat genome is five times larger than the human genome, Bayer said this complexity creates a major hurdle for wheat breeders looking to improve wheat quality. Bayer hopes that the identification of a „significant number“ of SNPs „facilitates the utilisation of this knowledge to deliver desirable improvements in wheat“.
The collaboration with Evogene was established in December 2010. The identification of the SNPs is the first result of a five-year project focusing on improving wheat yield, drought tolerance and fertilizer use. „We want to improve wheat to tackle issues like climate change and the decline of mineral resources used for fertilizer,“ said Mathias Kremer, Head of the BioScience business group of Bayer CropScience.