Crop Biotech Update

Study Shows High Yield and Water Efficiency of Drought Tolerant Wheat Due to High Biomass

December 18, 2013

A group of scientists from Texas A&M AgriLife Research in Amarillo has completed a study that determined plant physiological characteristics contributing to high yield and water efficiency of drought tolerant wheat. The study featured a two-year field experiment with 10 different wheat varieties. The wheat varieties were grown under dryland and irrigated conditions, looking primarily at yield determination and water-use efficiency.

Qingwu Xue, AgriLife research team leader, said that newer drought tolerant wheat varieties have higher yield than older varieties, but they wanted to find out what really determined yield. They found that yield under drought was more correlated to biomass production than harvest index, and the ability to produce higher biomass is important for dryland wheat production. The study also showed that biomass at flowering significantly contributed to higher yield under drought. Xue added "Our initial results indicated the higher biomass of drought tolerant varieties is related to their ability to efficiently extract water from the soil."

For more details, read the news release at: http://today.agrilife.org/2013/12/13/high-yield-water-efficiency-of-drought-tolerant-wheat-due-to-higher-biomass/.