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August 30th, 2010:

More of the story behind the “wheat genome sequenced!” articles

Turns out I’m not the only one who was underwhelmed by the data behind the recent stories about the sequencing of the wheat genome. The International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium has put out a press release in which they state:

The International Wheat Genome Sequence Consortium, an international consortium of wheat growers, public and private breeders and scientists, strongly disagrees with implications that the sequence reads made available by a UK team, led by Professor Neil Hall, represent in any way the sequence of the wheat genome or that this work is comparable to genome sequences for rice, maize, or soybean. [emphasis mine]

This is starting to look more and more like what happened to the woodland strawberry genome all over again. The press release from the Wheat Genome folks also points out the original press release (from the United Kingdom’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council) that accompanied the genome sequence data released last week was very clear about what was being released: (more…)