The genome of bread wheat is hexaploid and contains 1.6 x 10 10 bp of DNA, of which more than 80% is repetitive sequences. Its size and complexity represent a challenge for the isolation of agronomically important genes, for which we frequently know only their position on the genetic map. Recently, new genomic resources and databases from genome projects have simplified the molecular analysis of the wheat genome. The first genes to be isolated from wheat by map-based cloning include three resistance genes against the fungal diseases powdery mildew and leaf rust. In this review, we will describe the approaches and resources that have contributed to this progress, and discuss genomic strategies that will simplify positional cloning in wheat in the near future.
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