Genome sequencing of historical wheat seeds
Chinese scientists have sequenced the whole genome of 3,800-year-old wheat seeds unearthed from Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, decoding the food crop’s spreading path into China.
Four Chinese institutes collectively carried out the analysis. The scientists extracted DNA from seven historic wheat seeds came upon from Xiaohe and Gumugou cemeteries in Xinjiang, which is an crucial geographic intersection between the East and the West. Cui Yinqiu, a professor of the School of Life Sciences in Jilin University, involved in the analysis, said the dehusked and well-preserved seeds randomly decided on from the archeological sites have the genomic similarity with wheat recently grown in Southwest China.

The scientists proposed that the typical wheat dispersed from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in West China to the Yangtze River valley in central and eastern China.

The analysis supplied detailed information on the origin, dispersal and genetic improvement for the cultivation of present-day wheat and was printed on the newest issue of the international science journal “The Plant Journal.”

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