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Specialty Wheat Glossary - Genetics

The area of study for wheat is so vast that without getting the basics right, one would feel overwhelmed and certainly won't be able to make much sense of the modern wheat. So, let's start our glossary of genetics and explore new, uncommon, and specialised words in the world of wheat.


Genome:

The complete set of genes or genetic material present in a cell or organism.


Ploidy:

The number of sets of chromosomes in a cell, or in the cells of an organism.

Chromosome:

A threadlike structure of nucleic acids and protein found in the nucleus of most living cells, carrying genetic information in the form of genes.


DNA:

A self-replicating material that is present in nearly all living organisms as the main constituent of chromosomes. It is the carrier of genetic information.


Gene:

A distinct sequence of nucleotides forming part of a chromosome, the order of which determines the order of monomers in a polypeptide or nucleic acid molecule which a cell (or virus) may synthesize.


Protein:

Any of a class of nitrogenous organic compounds which have large molecules composed of one or more long chains of amino acids and are an essential part of all living organisms, especially as structural components of body tissues such as muscle, hair, etc., and as enzymes and antibodies.


Amino Acids:

A simple organic compound containing both a carboxyl (—COOH) and an amino (—NH2) group.


Triticum:

Any annual cereal grass of the genus Triticum, which includes the wheats.


Aegilops:

A genus of grasses sometimes used to include the presumed wild ancestors of domestic wheat which are now usually placed in the genus Triticum.


Species:

A group of living organisms consisting of similar individuals capable of exchanging genes or interbreeding. The species is the principal natural taxonomic unit, ranking below a genus and denoted by a Latin binomial, e.g. Homo sapiens.


Subspecies:

A taxonomic category that ranks below species, usually a fairly permanent geographically isolated race.


Variety :

A taxonomic category that ranks below subspecies (where present) or species, its members differing from others of the same subspecies or species in minor but permanent or heritable characteristics. Varieties are more often recognized in botany.


Landrace:

A landrace is a domesticated, locally adapted, traditional variety of a species of animal or plant that has developed over time, through adaptation to its natural and cultural environment of agriculture and pastoralism, and due to isolation from other populations of the species.


Germplasm:

Germplasm are living genetic resources such as seeds or tissues that are maintained for the purpose of animal and plant breeding, preservation, and other research uses.


We hope this was helpful, and you could learn a new word or two (:D) about specialty wheat. If you have further questions and would love to know anything in specific about any of the words shared in the glossary above, please carry on the discussion on our discord channel in #wheatglossary thread.