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Wheat research

Demand for wheat by 2050 is predicted to increase by 50 percent from today’s levels. Meanwhile, the crop is at risk from new and more aggressive pests and diseases, diminishing water resources, limited available land and unstable weather conditions — heat in particular.

CIMMYT’s Global Wheat Program is one of the most important public sources of high yielding, nutritious, disease- and climate-resilient wheat varieties for Africa, Asia, and Latin America. CIMMYT breeding lines can be found in varieties sown on more than 60 million hectares worldwide.

Through this program, CIMMYT works with more than 200 research and breeding institutions, including the International Center for Agriculture Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) and the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat (WHEAT), sharing elite breeding lines and associated data through its system of international nurseries.

The Wheat Molecular Breeding laboratory develops tools and information for breeders around the world. The Wheat Quality laboratory ensures that CIMMYT varieties meet market demands for flour and bread quality.

CIMMYT’s wheat research aims to:

  • Develop climate resilient, nutritious, high yielding disease and pest tolerant wheat lines.
  • Use the latest molecular breeding tools, bioinformatics and selection methods.
  • Ensure that national agricultural research system partners are active participants in breeding.
  • Apply more precise phenotyping approaches — phenotyping platforms — and other tools, like remote sensing, to develop genetically diverse wheat varieties so that globally, annual genetic yield gains of at least 0.7 percent are achieved.
  • Provide diverse, high-yielding wheat varieties that withstand infertile soils, drought, pests and diseases.
  • Conduct research to help farmers exploit the full potential of improved seed while conserving soil and water resources.
  • Explore new market opportunities for smallholder farmers.
  • Provide training opportunities in wheat breeding and crop management research.
  • Exploit genetic variation in wheat wild relatives.

CIMMYT leads the CGIAR Research Program on Wheat (WHEAT).

To order seeds, please click here.

Contact

Profile image for Alison Bentley

Alison Bentley

Director, Global Wheat Program

Profile image for Hamish Dunsford

Hamish Dunsford

Program Manager, Global Wheat Program

Team members

Profile image for Bekele Abeyo

Bekele Abeyo

Senior Scientist, Wheat Breeder and Pathologist for sub-Saharan Africa & Country Representative for Ethiopia

Profile image for Karim Ammar

Karim Ammar

Principal Scientist, Durum Wheat Breeding

Profile image for Abdelfattah A. Dababat

Abdelfattah A. Dababat

Senior Scientist, Soil Borne Diseases, and Country Representative for Turkey

Profile image for Susanne Dreisigacker

Susanne Dreisigacker

Wheat Molecular Breeding Laboratory Head

Profile image for Zhonghu He

Zhonghu He

Distinguished Scientist and Country Representative for China

Profile image for Maria Itria Ibba

Maria Itria Ibba

Head of the Wheat Quality Laboratory and Cereal Chemist

Profile image for Arun Kumar Joshi

Arun Kumar Joshi

CIMMYT Regional Representative for Asia and Managing Director, Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA)

Profile image for Matthew Reynolds

Matthew Reynolds

Distinguished Scientist and Head of Wheat Physiology

Profile image for Rajiv Kumar Sharma

Rajiv Kumar Sharma

Senior Scientist - Wheat Improvement and Country Representative for Afghanistan

Profile image for Pawan Kumar Singh

Pawan Kumar Singh

Head of Wheat Pathology

Profile image for Ravi Prakash Singh

Ravi Prakash Singh

Distinguished Scientist and Head of Global Wheat Improvement

Press releases

Partnership of two world-class research institutes will harness state-of-the-art technology to find solutions for wheat farmers and consumers.

In the media

Source: The Guardian (27 Apr 2021)

Matthew Reynolds talked to The Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast about the process of creating climate- and heat-resistant crops.

In the media

Source: Reuters (15 Apr 2021)

Scientists at CIMMYT expect to sharply ramp up new wheat varieties enriched with zinc that can boost the essential mineral for millions of poor people with deficient diets.

Blogs

Alumni of CIMMYT’s historic wheat training program reflect on a powerful learning experience.