Biotech Updates

New Nematode-Resistant Wheat

May 11, 2012

Agri-Science Queensland has released five new wheat breeding lines that are tolerant and resistant to the root-lesion nematode Pratylenchus thornei, a plant parasite affecting two-thirds of Australia's grain crops and reduce yield by up to 65 percent. Nematodes invade wheat roots making it difficult for plants to absorb water and nutrients from the soil.

Agri-Science Queensland plant pathologist Jason Sheedy said that putting the technology into the seed through genetic resistance and tolerance makes crop management easier with no additional cost to the growers. He added that the nematode tolerant characteristic allows wheat plants to maximize yield under nematode-infested conditions, while the nematode resistant characteristic prevent soil population build up and affect the following wheat crop.

The new wheat breeding lines are now available to Australian wheat breeding companies in time with the start of the 2012 planting season.

More information about this breakthrough is available at