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Washington State University to Lead Development of Heat-Tolerant Wheat

Washington State University will lead a $16.2 million project to develop wheat varieties that can better tolerate high temperatures found in most of the world's plant-growing regions. The project will focus on the North Indian River Plain, home to nearly 1 billion people.

Washington State University will lead a $16.2 million project to develop wheat varieties that can better tolerate high temperatures found in most of the world's plant-growing regions. The project will focus on the North Indian River Plain, home to nearly 1 billion people. Researchers will combine breeding tools to identify genes or gene sets associated with heat tolerance, as heat plays an important role in wheat yields. A wheat plant's productivity falls off when temperatures rise above 82 degrees F, with the effects particularly dramatic during the flowering stage.

 

The project will include researchers from Kansas State University, DuPont Pioneer; India's Directorate of Wheat Research and National Bureau of Plant Genetics Resources, GB Pant University, CCS Meerut University, Punjab Agricultural University, Rajendra Agricultural University; and two private companies in India. Thirty-five Ph.D. students and 30 postdoctoral or research fellows will also be involved in the project.

 

For more details on this project, read the news release at http://news.wsu.edu/pages/publications.asp?Action=Detail&PublicationID=35847.

 

By Eric Sorensen, WSU science writer

 

Kulvinder Gill. (Photo by Robert Hubner, WSU Photo Services, courtesy of Washington 
State Magazine) 

 

 

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