Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genetics Not Enough to Increase Wheat Production

16.08.2010
The deep gene pool that has allowed wheat to achieve ever increasing gains in yield may be draining. Crop scientists estimate that 50% of the gain in wheat production over the past century has been due to breeding. According to a new study, however, that improvement has been slowing since the late 1980s, with little chance that future increases in yield can be met by breeding efforts alone.

The researchers, Robert A. Graybosch of USDA-ARS and C. James Peterson of Oregon State University, estimated that the average rate of genetic improvement in winter wheat yield potential since 1959 was 1.1% per year. However, most of this gain was realized from 1959-1989.

The study, reported in the September-October 2010 edition of Crop Science, published by the Crop Science Society of America, evaluated data collected from long-term USDA-ARS regional nursery trials in the Great Plains. The varieties entered into these trials from public and private entities represent the highest current genetic potential for grain yield production.

Since the late 1980s, the rate of grain yield improvement has slowed, and now appears to have reached a plateau. There are several reasons for this, including the perpetual evolutionary arms race against new pathogens, the resurgence of old pathogens, or perhaps merely the exhaustion of available genetic resources for yield improvement.

“We truly are in need of a second ‘Green Revolution’ in wheat,” says Graybosch, a wheat geneticist.

Fifty years ago, it was estimated that world population growth would out-strip world food supplies. These dire forecasts never reached fruition, as advances in genetic improvement via plant breeding and improved plant production practices have been able to keep pace with food demands.

Since inception of modern breeding efforts, improvements in wheat grain yield were driven by major breakthroughs, from adapting the plants to their climate, introducing disease resistance, and the introduction of dwarfing genes that caused plants to put more energy into growing seeds rather than stems. However, since these developments, no other major breeding advances have produced the “great leap forward” necessary to continue improving yields.

Unless some significant advance shortly impacts wheat genetic potential for grain yield, any increased demand for wheat can only be met by changes in current production practices or expansion of cultural environments.

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at https://www.crops.org/publications/cs/abstracts/50/5/1882.

Crop Science is the flagship journal of the Crop Science Society of America. Original research is peer-reviewed and published in this highly cited journal. It also contains invited review and interpretation articles and perspectives that offer insight and commentary on recent advances in crop science. For more information, visit www.crops.org/publications/cs

The Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), founded in 1955, is an international scientific society comprised of 6,000+ members with its headquarters in Madison, WI. Members advance the discipline of crop science by acquiring and disseminating information about crop breeding and genetics; crop physiology; crop ecology, management, and quality; seed physiology, production, and technology; turfgrass science; forage and grazinglands; genomics, molecular genetics, and biotechnology; and biomedical and enhanced plants.

CSSA fosters the transfer of knowledge through an array of programs and services, including publications, meetings, career services, and science policy initiatives. For more information, visit www.crops.org

Sara Uttech | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.sciencesocieties.org
http://www.crops.org

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

nachricht Fighting a destructive crop disease with mathematics
21.06.2017 | University of Cambridge

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

Im Focus: The proton precisely weighted

What is the mass of a proton? Scientists from Germany and Japan successfully did an important step towards the most exact knowledge of this fundamental constant. By means of precision measurements on a single proton, they could improve the precision by a factor of three and also correct the existing value.

To determine the mass of a single proton still more accurate – a group of physicists led by Klaus Blaum and Sven Sturm of the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear...

Im Focus: On the way to a biological alternative

A bacterial enzyme enables reactions that open up alternatives to key industrial chemical processes

The research team of Prof. Dr. Oliver Einsle at the University of Freiburg's Institute of Biochemistry has long been exploring the functioning of nitrogenase....

Im Focus: The 1 trillion tonne iceberg

Larsen C Ice Shelf rift finally breaks through

A one trillion tonne iceberg - one of the biggest ever recorded -- has calved away from the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antarctica, after a rift in the ice,...

Im Focus: Laser-cooled ions contribute to better understanding of friction

Physics supports biology: Researchers from PTB have developed a model system to investigate friction phenomena with atomic precision

Friction: what you want from car brakes, otherwise rather a nuisance. In any case, it is useful to know as precisely as possible how friction phenomena arise –...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

The technology with a feel for feelings

12.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA looks to solar eclipse to help understand Earth's energy system

21.07.2017 | Earth Sciences

Stanford researchers develop a new type of soft, growing robot

21.07.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Vortex photons from electrons in circular motion

21.07.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>