5 Dec 2012

Scientists make advances in wheat genome research

8:48 am on 5 December 2012

Scientists have made major progress in deciphering the genome of bread wheat, which they say could help with global food security.

Writing in the journal Nature, the researchers say they have identified key parts of wheat's genetic code.

The team hopes the data will accelerate the development of more resilient varieties, the BBC reports.

The 2012 wheat harvest was hit by extreme weather events around the world, which led to a spike in prices.

Last year, 681 million tonnes of bread wheat was produced globally, making it the third most-produced food crop behind maize and rice. It made up about 20% of the calories consumed worldwide.