Biotech Updates

K-State Scientists Develop Heat Tolerant Wheat Gene

January 14, 2015

Kansas State University scientists Dr. Harold Trick and Allan Fritz are developing biotech wheat that has the ability to tolerate warmer temperatures during the critical grain filling stage. During this stage, extreme temperatures can cause shrivelled kernels and significant yield losses.

The researchers studied genes from different plants that can increase wheat's tolerance to extreme temperatures. A gene from grapes showed best yield increase in temperatures of 29.5 to 32.3 degrees Celsius. Thus, the team are now working to cross the thermotolerance into the best wheat varieties. Their goal is to amplify the synergistic effect of doubling down on heat tolerance.

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