Scientists at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) have developed a new variety of wheat branded as “synthetic hexaploid wheat,”
They added new genes for disease resistance; nutritional quality and heat and drought tolerance to the new wheat variety to boost its genetic diversity to increase its resilience to wheat diseases.
The scientists found that genome segments from a wild grass are present in more than one in five of elite bread wheat lines developed by the CIMMYT
CIMMYT scientists and other research institutes have been crossing wild goat grass with durum wheat (the wheat used for pasta) — with the help of complex laboratory manipulations — since the 1980s.
The study, which aimed to measure the effect of these long-term efforts using state-of-the-art molecular technology, also found that 20% of CIMMYT modern wheat lines contain an average of 15% of the genome segments from the wild goat grass.