A new study has determined that wheat with exotic DNA from wild relatives benefits from up to 50 percent higher yields in hot weather, compared with elite lacks lacking these genes.
The study by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and the Earlham Institute examined how exotic alleles contribute to wheat heat tolerance in different field conditions based on field trials in Sonora, Mexico.
“Crossing elite lines with exotic material has its challenges,” said Matthew Reynolds, co-author of the study and leader of Wheat Physiology at CIMMYT. “There’s a well-recognized risk of bringing in more undesirable than desirable traits, so this result represents a significant breakthrough in overcoming that barrier and the continued utilization of genetic resources to boost climate resilience.”
These results can be used to improve crop resilience and food security in the face of the challenges posed by climate change, as well as emphasizing the importance of genetic diversity in key crops where selective breeding has reduced adaptability.
Read the original article: Exotic wheat DNA helps breed ‘climate-proof’ crops