Crag in the Media

The genetics of Pharaon’s wheat hit the headlines

Laura R. Botigué was interviewed in the BBC radio about an article she published in Nature Plants.

An article published in Nature Plants in November 2019 by Laura R. Botigué and collaborators at the UCL (UK) got the attention to the Spanish and the international mass media. Botigué and collaborators succeeded in sequencing the DNA of wheat species that was harvested over 3,000 years ago in Egypt. The notice that museum samples might actually be a treasure of ancient DNAs draw the attention of the BBC, where Botigué was interviewed. Botigué highlighted that “it was very exciting to use a sample that had been in a museum and find nail results”. 

Other international media, as “El siglo de Torreón” from Mexico or Euronews underlined the importance of this discovery for future wheat breeding programs to improve drought and diseases resistance.

In declarations to the Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia, Botigué stated that “…the wheat we analysed was one of the first genetically modified by humans as consequence of agriculture…” In an interview to the Catalan radio “Catalunya Radio” she explained that due to the domestication process we lost several important characteristics from this ancient wheat that would be very valuable for its adaptation to the actual and future climate. This aspect was also highlighted by the Catalan newspaper Ara.

Here you can read the press release on the Nature Plants article in English, Spanish and Catalan.