Biotech Updates

Scientists Focus On Wheat Roots to Improve Production

March 23, 2007

Scientists at Australia’s CSIRO Plant Industry are focusing on the roots of wheat plants to determine potential breeding parents for future wheat varieties. Jairo Palta and colleagues measured how quickly roots grew and the way they developed in different wheat breeding lines. The roots of the commercial variety, ‘Janz’, were compared with two wheat breeding lines, ‘Vig 18’ and ‘B18’, selected by CSIRO researchers for their early vigor. “The early and more abundant root branching increased the root length density, the number of roots, and the capacity of wheat to capture nitrogen,” said Palta. Incorporating early vigor traits into wheat varieties could reduce input costs and improve yield for farmers.

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