In the news...

Soil fungi turn struggling wheat into ‘climate-smart’ crop with boosted nutrient uptake

October 30th, 2019

Introducing fungi to wheat boosted their uptake of key nutrients and could lead to new, ‘climate smart’ varieties of crops, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of Leeds have demonstrated a partnership between wheat and soil fungi that could be utilized to develop new food crops and farming …

The cereals imperative of future food systems

October 16th, 2019

Pioneering research on our three most important cereal grains — maize, rice, and wheat — has contributed enormously to global food security over the last half century, chiefly by boosting the yields of these crops and by making them more resilient in the face of drought, flood, pests and diseases. …

GMO wheat varieties boost crop yields 20-30% in field trial

October 9th, 2019

Studies conducted at the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility (APPF) showed experimental genetically modified (GM) wheat lines [have] the potential to significantly increase yields. These lines ‘overexpress’ three wild-type plant genes, either individually or in combination, and were developed to test whether targeting individual wheat genes could lead to improvements in yield.

In greenhouse studies conducted at …

New breeding technologies needed to meet skyrocketing demand for wheat, scientists warn

September 30th, 2019

New technologies and policies are needed to meet the skyrocketing demand for wheat, which is expected to increase 50 to 60 percent by 2050.

That was the key takeaway from the recent International Wheat Congress (IWC) in Saskatoon, Canada, which attracted over 900 delegates from 50 different countries, including researchers from …

Wild wheat genetics offer climate hope for food crops

September 19th, 2019 / BBC, UK

Wild relatives of food crops, such as wheat, host an abundant array of genetic material to help the plants cope with a changing climate.

In a study over 28 years showed that populations of wild wheat accumulated “beneficial mutations” such as a tolerance to temperature increases.

Researchers say the results improve our …

CRISPR and other new breeding techniques could be key to unlocking potential of global wheat production

August 30th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

B4FA Fellow Lominda Afedraru  writes:

To meet a growing global demand for wheat, scientists and policy makers are calling for wider use of new breeding techniques in a quest to increase yields and fight pests, disease and climate change.

While other key commodity crops – including corn, soybeans and cotton – have …

New breeding technologies needed to meet skyrocketing demand for wheat, scientists warn

August 19th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Some 2.5 billion consumers in 89 countries already depend on wheat as a staple food, and demand is expected to rise significantly as the world’s population tops 9 billion or more and 6.3 billion city dwellers buy convenience food. With approximately 15 percent of the planet’s arable land planted with …

International project working to beat wheat rust

March 25th, 2019 / Weekly Times, Australia

A JOINT venture project between the CSIRO and a US foundation has had recent success with a field trial of a wheat variety stacked with five wheat rust resistance genes.

The collaboration between CSIRO and the University of Minnesota known as 2Blades has recently demonstrated strong field resistance to stem rust …

New crop loss study underscores urgent need for resistant varieties

February 25th, 2019 / Alliance for Science, US

Plant pests and diseases are significantly reducing yields of five major food crops across the globe, underscoring the critical need to develop new resistant varieties, according to a new study.

Some 137 pathogens and pests cause losses of 10 to 40 percent in the staple crops — wheat, maize (corn), soybeans, …

Crop diversity worldwide is growing, but wheat, maize (corn), soy, and rice cover almost 50% of farmland worldwide

February 19th, 2019 / Genetic Literacy Project, US

Global agriculture is increasingly dominated by just a handful of crops with limited genetic richness, says a group of researchers writing in PLOS One.

The research shows that despite an uptick in the diversity of crops grown across the planet over the last 60 years, the largest share of our crops worldwide is …