Fine mapping of the wheat genome- one step closer to gluten free wheat
Through a massive, international collaborative effort, the entire genome of bread wheat has now been mapped. This makes it possible to in the future develop wheat strains that lack certain proteins, including the gluten proteins that are harmful for celiac disease patients.
FOTO: Shutterstock/NTB scanpix
The bread wheat genome is very complex because it originates from 3 different strains. It has 21 chromosomes which is 3 times as many as humans. Because of this it has been challenging to pinpoint in detail where genes that code different proteins are.
Scientist from NMBU (Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Ås) lead by professor Odd-Arne Olsen have together with the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium generated a detailed map of where all proteins can be found in the wheat genome.
This knowledge opens up many possibilities and can be used to develop wheat that is better suited to deal with environmental factors such as drought and pests. For celiac disease patients, this means that in the future it may be possible to design and develop wheat that lack the protein regions that cause harmful immune responses and intestinal disease.