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Celebrating the centennial anniversary of the discovery of chromosome number and polyploidy in wheat

centennial anniversary of the discovery of chromosome number and polyploidy in wheat

A hundred year ago, Tetsu Sakamura, then a graduate student at the College of Agriculture of Hokkaido University in Japan, discovered the correct chromosome number in wheat and polyploidy in the genus Triticum.

This was the starting point of modern wheat genetics.

Sakamura published his study in the Botanical Magazine, Tokyo under the title “Kurze Mitteilung über die Chromosomen- zahlen und die Verwandt-schaftsverhältnisse der Triticum- Arten.” (“Short report on the chromosome number and phylogenetic relationship of Triticum species”).

Sakamura became Professor in 1921 and spent the rest of his career at the Hokkaido University, studying plant physiology. He was notably the supervisor of Hitoshi Kihara, now a world famous wheat geneticist. Sakamura findings were the base of Kihara’s work on wheat genomics, including the finding of the origin of hexaploid wheat.

The Genetics Society of Japan will celebrate the centennial of Prof Sakamura discovery in a workshop during its annual meeting in Okayama, Japan on 15 September 2017.

Professor Hirokazu Handa, IWGSC Coordinating Committee member, will make a presentation on the reference genome sequence of hexaploid wheat, Triticum aestivum L.

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