Nav: Home

Improved heat-resistant wheat varieties are identified

June 16, 2020

Wheat, in its own right, is one of the most important foods in the world. It is a staple food for more than 2.5 billion people, it provides 20% of the protein consumed worldwide and, according to the FAO, supplies more calories than any other grain. Its long-term productivity, however, is threatened by rising temperatures, among other factors. Stress from heat, an increasing trend due to climate change, affects its performance, a fact that needs urgent solutions bearing in mind that, according to some estimates, the world's population will reach 9 billion by the year 2050.

In search of solutions that guarantee this grain's sustainability, an international study, in which the University of Cordoba (UCO) participated, analyzed 54 kinds of wheat made by the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (abbreviated to CIMMYT in Spanish), an international research organization located in Mexico. This organization has spent over 60 years developing genetically improved genotypes of wheat and maize.

This research aimed to establish which of the 54 kinds of wheat under analysis responded best to high temperatures. Specifically, according to Carlos Guzmán, lead researcher of the study at UCO, the study revealed that 10 of these genotypes tolerate stress caused by heat better. "Most of them are kinds that have been recently produced by the improvement program, demonstrating the effectiveness of genetic improvement when dealing with this issue if the necessary investment is made", points out the author of the study.

The varieties were grown in the CENEB experimental research station (Sonora, Mexico), cradle of the Green Revolution, where a desert climate prevails. The grain genotypes were planted in February, three months later than normal, in order to have their flowering and grain filling coincide with the hottest months. According to the results, the genotypes that responded best to high temperatures were able to produce 2.4 tons of wheat per hectare, "a farily reasonable amount in this kind of environment and this could help maintain an acceptable rate of productivity under these conditions," says Carlos Guzmán.

This research was not only focused on the amount of wheat the varieties could produce but also on the quality of grain, a factor that very much depends on the quantity and quality of protein and is a key element when marketing the grain to be used in making products such as bread and pasta.

According to the study's results, "the grain quality has not decreased due to stress in any of the ten genotypes that resist heat the best", making these varieties candidates to be used frequently in improvement programs or to be released as varieties in regions and countries where heat stress is common. This is all being done with an aim to generate heat-resistant wheat that can guarantee the sustainability of a staple food that needs to keep on feeding the world.

University of Córdoba

Related Stress Articles:

Early life stress is associated with youth-onset depression for some types of stress but not others
Examining the association between eight different types of early life stress (ELS) and youth-onset depression, a study in JAACAP, published by Elsevier, reports that individuals exposed to ELS were more likely to develop a major depressive disorder (MDD) in childhood or adolescence than individuals who had not been exposed to ELS.
Red light for stress
Researchers from the Institute of Industrial Science at The University of Tokyo have created a biphasic luminescent material that changes color when exposed to mechanical stress.
How do our cells respond to stress?
Molecular biologists reverse-engineer a complex cellular structure that is associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as ALS
How stress remodels the brain
Stress restructures the brain by halting the production of crucial ion channel proteins, according to research in mice recently published in JNeurosci.
Why stress doesn't always cause depression
Rats susceptible to anhedonia, a core symptom of depression, possess more serotonin neurons after being exposed to chronic stress, but the effect can be reversed through amygdala activation, according to new research in JNeurosci.
How plants handle stress
Plants get stressed too. Drought or too much salt disrupt their physiology.
Stress in the powerhouse of the cell
University of Freiburg researchers discover a new principle -- how cells protect themselves from mitochondrial defects.
Measuring stress around cells
Tissues and organs in the human body are shaped through forces generated by cells, that push and pull, to ''sculpt'' biological structures.
Cellular stress at the movies
For the first time, biological imaging experts have used a custom fluorescence microscope and a novel antibody tagging tool to watch living cells undergoing stress.
Maternal stress at conception linked to children's stress response at age 11
A new study published in the Journal of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease finds that mothers' stress levels at the moment they conceive their children are linked to the way children respond to life challenges at age 11.
More Stress News and Stress Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Listen Again: The Power Of Spaces
How do spaces shape the human experience? In what ways do our rooms, homes, and buildings give us meaning and purpose? This hour, TED speakers explore the power of the spaces we make and inhabit. Guests include architect Michael Murphy, musician David Byrne, artist Es Devlin, and architect Siamak Hariri.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#576 Science Communication in Creative Places
When you think of science communication, you might think of TED talks or museum talks or video talks, or... people giving lectures. It's a lot of people talking. But there's more to sci comm than that. This week host Bethany Brookshire talks to three people who have looked at science communication in places you might not expect it. We'll speak with Mauna Dasari, a graduate student at Notre Dame, about making mammals into a March Madness match. We'll talk with Sarah Garner, director of the Pathologists Assistant Program at Tulane University School of Medicine, who takes pathology instruction out of...
Now Playing: Radiolab

What If?
There's plenty of speculation about what Donald Trump might do in the wake of the election. Would he dispute the results if he loses? Would he simply refuse to leave office, or even try to use the military to maintain control? Last summer, Rosa Brooks got together a team of experts and political operatives from both sides of the aisle to ask a slightly different question. Rather than arguing about whether he'd do those things, they dug into what exactly would happen if he did. Part war game part choose your own adventure, Rosa's Transition Integrity Project doesn't give us any predictions, and it isn't a referendum on Trump. Instead, it's a deeply illuminating stress test on our laws, our institutions, and on the commitment to democracy written into the constitution. This episode was reported by Bethel Habte, with help from Tracie Hunte, and produced by Bethel Habte. Jeremy Bloom provided original music. Support Radiolab by becoming a member today at     You can read The Transition Integrity Project's report here.