New Science Discovers Additional Wheat Varieties

By Hari Yellina
Pic supplied

According to a new analysis, new Australian technology could help give more wheat to the world as the temperature heats. New wheat types might be sown at up to twice the depth of present kinds, according to the study, which was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. A group hailing from Australia’s national science organisation, CSIRO, discovered novel wheat genes and evaluated them against meteorological data gathered over 120 years, suggesting that they may increase yields by 20%. The article identified how more wheat can be produced in a changing environment, according to Dr Greg Rebetzke, head research scientist at CSIRO.

The new types, he claimed, will be more resistant to heat and drought, allowing them to “adapt better to future shifting climates.” Dr. Rebetzke, who has worked on the project for 25 years, said the CSIRO team created new genetics that allow plants to grow longer shoots called coleoptiles, which he compares to a drinking straw. “The hollow tube grows through the hard, dry earth, and once it reaches the top, the wheat plant may safely grow through the straw to emerge above ground,” he explained. Current wheat varieties have shoot lengths of six to nine centimetres, but the CSIRO was able to generate a variety with a shoot length of up to 15 centimetres.

Around three years ago, the genes were provided to “breeding corporations,” which have utilised them to create new types. “That depth gives growers more freedom and assurance regardless of the season,” Dr. Rebetzke explained. He claims that being able to plant wheat at a deeper level will significantly increase the amount that can be produced, potentially worth more than two billion dollars per year to Australia’s wheat sector. “By ensuring that the crop germinates on time when sown and is not delayed due to late rainfall.” While some of the new wheat varieties are presently accessible commercially in South Australia, the team anticipates that they will become more widely available in the coming years.

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