The world’s largest library of genetic information about wheat has been created by French and British researchers, to help academics and commercial breeders improve the quality of wheat grown around the world.

Scientists at the John Innes centre in the UK and the National Institute for Agronomical Research (INRA) in France combined their bacterial artificial chromosome databases to make up a complete collection of wheat genes, one million fragments in tiny test tubes.

Now USA researchers want to copy the library. Boulos Chalhoub, project leader at INRA said: “We expect to see these libraries helping researchers and breeders in their continuing pursuit of global food security and environmentally sustainable agriculture.”