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.