NRGene delivers wild wheat ancestor genome in one month

By Editor July 28, 2015

Genome map will lead to increased global food supply, better flour quality, lowered prices, and reduction in world hunger

Ness Ziona, Israel – July 28, 2015 – NRGene has mapped the complete wild Emmer wheat genome in one month at a cost of less than $500,000. Wild emmer wheat possesses genes absent from cultivated wheat, which enables the plant to tolerate severe environmental conditions and better resist pests and diseases. The availability of the full genome map of Emmer wheat significantly accelerates crop improvement research faster and at a significant reduction of the previous cost.

“The first maize genome map in 2009 already has boosted breeding practices and increased yields,” said Dr. Gil Ronen, CEO of NRGene. “As most of the world receives a significant amount of its calories from wheat, we now expect a significant acceleration of wheat breeding, enhancing nutrition, increasing stability within the global wheat supply chain, and delivering direct economic benefits to farmers and the agricultural industry overall.”

NRGene’s DeNovoMAGICTM quickly and accurately constructed the Emmer wheat genome, while NRGene’s GenoMAGICTM data management and mining tool takes the wheat research to the next step, identifying the most beneficial genetic components to enhance breeding of elite wheat varieties.

Mapping the first maize genome cost $25 million and took 5 years; the wheat genome is five times the size. NRGene’s big data technology combined with its proprietary algorithms quickly mapped the Emmer wheat genome in 4 weeks.

With this complete genome map, major seed companies will be able to pinpoint genetic traits with highest accuracy, accelerating the development of heartier, more productive seeds faster at a fraction of the current cost. Higher yields will give farmers the economic motivation to purchase better seeds, directly affecting the bottom line of the global seed companies. Ensuring the global food supply will support political stabilization and the development of emerging economies.

“The long-term impact of the delivery of the Emmer wheat genome is almost immeasurable,” concluded Dr. Ronen. “The future shortage in global food supply caused by extreme environmental conditions or pests is a scenario we must avoid by developing adequate varieties, and the Emmer wheat genome mapping is a crucial step in assuring future higher wheat yields.”

About NRGene

NRGene is a genomic big data company developing cutting-edge software and algorithms to reveal the complexity and diversity of plants and animals for the most advanced computational breeding. NRGene tools are already been employed by some of the leading seed companies as well the most influential teams in academics and NGOs. NRGene is located in Ness Ziona, Israel.