Biotech Updates

Scientists Identify Wheat Genes for Frost Tolerance

May 2, 2008

Researchers from the University of California Davis have identified the genes responsible for the wide range of freezing temperatures that can be tolerated by different wheat varieties. Results of the study, reported in the current issue of the journal Plant Molecular Biology, provide insights for the understanding of winter injury, a major economic risk factor in producing wheat.

The scientists found out that the genes that regulate frost-tolerance are activated at milder temperatures (11-15 degrees Celsius) in frost-tolerant wheat varieties than in frost-susceptible varieties. The identification of these genes is expected to enable breeders to develop hardier, more productive wheat varieties, which is of  vital importance in light of growing pressures to increase global food production.

Read the press release at