Over the course of many thousands of years, humans turned rye into a cultivated plant. In doing so, they have considerably limited its genetic flexibility. Today, wild rye not only has a more diverse genetic make-up, it is able to recombine this more freely than its domesticated cousins. A research team led by Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU) and the Leibniz Institute of Plant Genetics and Crop Plant Research (IPK) has demonstrated this in a new study published in the scientific journal „Molecular Biology and Evolution“. The results also explain why cultivated rye is less resistant than wild species to developments such as climate change.