Researchers Discover Genes for Frost Tolerance in Wheat

April 29, 2008
Researchers Discover Genes for Frost Tolerance in Wheat

The genes responsible for the wide range of freezing temperatures that can be tolerated by different wheat varieties have been identified by a team of U.S. and European scientists, led by a plant scientist at the University of California, Davis.

The study results suggest that the genes that regulate frost-tolerance are activated at milder temperatures (53-59 degrees F) in frost-tolerant wheat varieties than in frost-susceptible varieties.

The findings, reported in the March issue of the journal Plant Molecular Biology, are important for better understanding winter injury, a major economic risk factor in producing wheat.

"It has been difficult for wheat breeders to develop more winter-hardy varieties because frost tolerance in wheat is a complex trait that is regulated by many genes," said Professor Jorge Dubcovsky, a wheat breeder and geneticist.

"The identification of these genes will enable breeders to develop hardier, more productive wheat varieties, which is of vital importance in light of growing pressures to increase global food production," he said.

As the world's leading exporter of wheat, the United States annually produces more than 50 million metric tons of wheat, which is used to make a broad spectrum of food products ranging from breads to pastas.

This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture -- Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service, the Hungarian Wheat Spike Consortia, the Hungarian National Research Fund, the National Science Foundation Plant Genome Program and the Ohio Plant Biotechnology Consortium.

Source: University of California, Davis

Explore further: Invasions out of center of diversity increase the risk of disease epidemics in wheat

Related Stories

'Most famous wheat gene' found

September 15, 2014

Washington State University researchers have found "the most famous wheat gene," a reproductive traffic cop of sorts that can be used to transfer valuable genes from other plants to wheat.

Ancient crop could help safeguard world's wheat

July 15, 2013

(Phys.org) —Using a crop popular in the Bronze Age but almost unknown today, University of Sydney scientists have helped pave the way to creating wheat resistant to the fungal disease stem rust.

Resistance gene found against Ug99 wheat stem rust pathogen

June 27, 2013

The world's food supply got a little more plentiful thanks to a scientific breakthrough. Eduard Akhunov, associate professor of plant pathology at Kansas State University, and his colleague, Jorge Dubcovsky from the University ...

Recommended for you

Science on the surface of a comet

July 31, 2015

Complex molecules that could be key building blocks of life, the daily rise and fall of temperature, and an assessment of the surface properties and internal structure of the comet are just some of the highlights of the first ...

Out of the lamplight

July 31, 2015

The human body is governed by complex biochemical circuits. Chemical inputs spur chain reactions that generate new outputs. Understanding how these circuits work—how their components interact to enable life—is critical ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.