An international research group from Japan, China, and the United Kingdom led by Kyoto University's Graduate School of Agriculture has released the high-precision chromosomal-level Genome sequence of buckwheat. This is a critical step in unraveling the evolution and origins of the cultivated crop.
By altering specific genes, the researchers successfully developed a self-fertile buckwheat variety and a new type of the crop with a sticky, mochi-like texture. This breeding method may contribute to a more diverse range of orphan crops than what is possible with existing genome editing technologies.
As the world population increases, so does the dependence on three major grain crops of rice, wheat, and corn. The availability of the genomes of orphan crops such as buckwheat may promote their efficient breeding, representing a crucial step toward achieving the United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals of 'Zero Hunger', 'Good Health and Well-Being', and 'Responsible Consumption and Production'.