Crop Biotech Update

New Gene That Can Increase Yield in Wheat Identified by US Scientists

May 18, 2022

The TaCOL-B5 gene in wheat plants can enhance yield by more than 10% and is an excellent candidate for getting the most out of one's wheat crop, according to a report by the Oklahoma State University.

The gene was discovered in wheat cultivar CLtr176 from Mexico. It was found to increase the number of spikelets on a wheat spike by more than three, as well as increase the number of fertile tillers per plant. The gene is also rare, as it can only be found in only about 2% of wheat species across the globe.

Researchers were able to clone the TaCOL-B5 gene and place it in cultivar Yangmai18 which produces average yield rates. The resulting genetically modified plant showed an average yield increase of almost 12%, with the most significant yield increase of almost 20% in another progeny line. These results provide researchers with the targets for changing and improving wheat yield on a molecular level and can supplement further studies that aim to increase the yield of wheat.

Read the news release by the Oklahoma State University and the journal article published by Science to learn more

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