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wheat yields

Study

Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum​) produces grain that accounts for around 20% of all protein and calories consumed worldwide.Although recognised as a ‘globally important cereal’, very little is known about the genes or biological process that control the formation of bread wheat grains on its lateral branches, known as spikelets.In an effort to gain a greater…

. Wheat yields increased and protein content was up to 25%

Bread Wheat (Triticum Aestivum ) This is a source of around 20% all the protein and calories consumed in the world.

Bread wheat is a globally important cereal. However, little information exists about the genetic process or genes that govern the formation of bread grains on the lateral branches (known as spikelets). A team of researchers from Australia, the UK, and Canada have focused their efforts on the genetic drivers of wheat varieties to gain greater understanding and identify ways to increase wheat yield.

“Little is known about the mechanism behind drivers of yields and protein content in wheat production,” said study lead Dr Scott Boden, from the University of Adelaide’s School of Agriculture, Food and Wine.

“Discovering a gene that controls these two factors has the potential to help generate new wheat varieties that produce higher quality grain.”

An unexpected discovery

The researchers identified semidominant alleles (variants of DNA sequences) for a class of III home-odomain-leucine zipper transcription factor, HOMEOBOX DOMAIN-2 (HB-2) on wheat A and D subgenomes, which generate more flower-bearding spikelets.

The researchers also discovered an unexpected advantage in the protein content of these alleles.

“The genetic variation we identified provides a 15-25% increase in protein content for plants grown in the field. Dr Boden said that these varieties also produce additional spikelets, . The researchers have yet to detect an increase in yield from the extra spikelets. However, they hope that elite varieties will yield higher yields.

Significantly, the increase in protein content occurs without the trade-off of a reduced yield, e

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