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Genetic Discovery Could Revolutionize Wheat Breeding

A team of scientists at the University of Adelaide in Australia in collaboration with DuPont Pioneer has made a key genetic discovery that could revolutionize the future of wheat breeding.

Researchers have identified Ms1, a wheat gene that when it is turned off allows for cross-pollination. This discovery could open the door for the breeding of high yielding hybrid wheat varieties.

Although the development of corn and rice hybrids has been possible, viable wheat hybrids have been more difficult to create due to wheat’s more complex genome. The ability for farmers to plant hybrid wheat could increase yields by 10-15 percent compared to current conventional varieties, while hardier hybrids could also expand wheat production into more non-optimal growing regions.

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