Australian researchers have found that wheat genes are more elastic in hot and dry climates.

According to a new report, Australian researchers have discovered new ways to grow more wheat in harsher climates.

Published in Nature Climate Change JournalThe study has discovered a potential strategy that revolves around sowing wheat faster and deeper by utilizing stored soil water.

However, modern semi-dwarf wheat varieties that farmers usually harvest are less likely to germinate when planted deeper.

Semi-dwarf wheat was developed in the 1940s and 1950s by Norman Borlaug, an American agronomist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, to increase yields.

This genetically modified wheat variety is shorter and stronger than regular wheat, making it less susceptible to weight and wind damage.

A team of four researchers from the Federal Institute for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIRO) has identified a new gene that has a long coleoptile, a protective sheath that covers new shoots, and is suitable for deep sowing.

“These genotypes, coupled with deep sowing, can increase national wheat yields by 18-20% in past climates (1901-2020) without increasing yield variability, resulting in future warming. But we expect profits to be expected, “the research team concludes. 120 years of Australian weather data.

These newly discovered wheat genes have the potential to promote wheat growth in hotter and drier climates, not only around Australia, but also in other arid wheat-producing regions of the world.

Epoch Times Photo
A wheat field harvested on January 12, 2021 on a farm near Inverleigh, about 100 km west of Melbourne, Australia. (WilliamWest / AFP via Getty Images)

CSIRO Principal Investigator Greg Rebetzke, who has been involved in the study for 25 years, said the study identified ways to produce wheat in more elastic varieties and in changing climates.

Rebetzke said CSIRO has developed a new genetics for longer coleoptiles. And it was given to a crop breeding company about three years ago.

“Hollow tubes grow through hard, dry soil, and when they reach the surface, wheat plants can grow safely through the straw and safely emerge on the ground,” he says. I did.

New wheat varieties can develop shoots up to 15 centimeters (6 inches). This is about 6-9 centimeters, less than twice the current wheat varieties.

“That depth actually gives producers greater flexibility and assurance regardless of the season,” Rebetzke said.

He said the ability to plant wheat at deeper levels should have a significant impact on potential production.

In addition, ensuring that crops germinate on time even with delayed rainfall could add more than $ 2 billion (US $ 1.4 billion) annually to the Australian wheat industry.

“There is a keen interest in this work worldwide, as increasingly warm and dry soil temperatures around the world run the risk of crop failures,” he said.

For example, Canada, which is usually one of the world’s largest wheat suppliers, is expected to have the worst wheat production in 14 years from 2021 to 22 against the backdrop of one of the hottest and driest summers on record. increase.

Statistics Canada clearly On December 31, total wheat inventories fell 38% annually.

AAP contributed to this article.

Rebecca Chu


Rebecca Zhu is based in Sydney. She focuses on Australia’s economy, property and education. Do you have a hint? Contact her at [email protected]