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Scientists Aim to Adapt Wheat to a Warmer Climate with Less Water

Scientists battling to increase wheat production by more than 60 percent over the next 35 years to meet projected demand are optimistic that they have begun to unravel the genetic mysteries that will lead to a more productive plant.

A recent study conducted at 26 international sites with a new generation of improved wheat breeding lines crossed and selected for superior physiological traits, resulted in yields that were on average 10 percent higher than other wheat varieties.

In the study, scientists identified many useful traits in the wheat plant suited to heat and drought adaptation, including: cooler canopy temperature indicating the ability of the plant to access subsoil water under drought and root proliferation under hot irrigated conditions.

Kinshuk Sunil

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