Scientists from four research institutes in China have sequenced the whole genome of 3,800-year-old wheat seeds unearthed from Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, decoding the food crop's spreading route into China. The results of the study are published in The Plant Journal.

The research team extracted DNA from seven ancient wheat seeds discovered from Xiaohe and Gumugou cemeteries in Xinjiang, which is an essential geographic intersection between the East and the West. They found that dehusked and well-preserved seeds from the archaeological sites are similar to the wheat currently grown in southwest China. The scientists propose that the common wheat dispersed from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in west China to the Yangtze River valley in central and eastern China.

 

For more details, read the news from Xinhua or a summary of the paper in The Plant Journal.