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‘Heat-tolerant’ wheat gene in development

June 2010 wheatKansas State University researchers are working on a transgenic wheat that would tolerate warmer temperatures during the critical grain filling stage.

The researchers have been working with durable “thermo-tolerant” genes found in other plant species, including rice and grapes. They are now crossing those genes into elite wheat varieties that have their own heat tolerance potential.

With just a single added gene to boost “thermo-tolerance”, the researchers say wheat yields could be increased be increased by up to 35 percent.

Because no genetically modified wheat is currently in the U.S. supply chain, the K-State researchers say the heat tolerant wheat will eventually need a sponsor that can take it through the strenuous and extensive regulatory process before it can be commercialized and be planted by farmers.

Link to article on Kansas Wheat web site

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