Wheat will have sex with anything. That observation from
Wheat’s “promiscuity”’ to cross with plants outside its genus, such as grasses with significantly better photosynthetic efficiency, offers breeders great scope to increase yields.
Prof Woodward explained that a six-year collaboration between
Now halfway through the programme the partnership have identified 80,000 gene markers and are on course to have 820,000 by the end of this month.
When the collaboration started three years ago this figure stood at just 1,000. These gene markers enable scientists, and more importantly commercial breeders, to identify the traits of wheat plants in the lab, without having to take them into the field and cultivate – thereby saving significant time and money.
These markers are being made available to industry, patent-free, putting wheat yielding 20t/ha, on average across the
Wheat yields through the ages
1940 – 2000 10t/ha
2000 – 2030 20t/ha
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