Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Boron tolerance discovery for higher wheat yields

Date:
July 2, 2014
Source:
University of Adelaide
Summary:
The genes in wheat that control tolerance to a significant yield-limiting soil condition found around the globe – boron toxicity -- have been identified by researchers. They say that in soils where boron toxicity is reducing yields, genetic improvement of crops is the only effective strategy to address the problem.

Australian scientists have identified the genes in wheat that control tolerance to a significant yield-limiting soil condition found around the globe -- boron toxicity.

Related Articles


Published in the journal Nature today, the identification of boron tolerance genes in wheat DNA is expected to help plant breeders more rapidly advance new varieties for increased wheat yields to help feed the growing world population.

The researchers, from the Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics at the University of Adelaide's Waite campus within the University's School of Agriculture, Food and Wine, say that in soils where boron toxicity is reducing yields, genetic improvement of crops is the only effective strategy to address the problem.

"About 35% of the world's seven billion people depend on wheat for survival," says project leader Dr Tim Sutton. "However productivity is limited by many factors such as drought, salinity and subsoil constraints including boron toxicity.

"In southern Australia more than 30% of soils in grain-growing regions have too high levels of boron. It's also a global problem, particularly in drier grain-growing environments. Boron tolerant lines of wheat, however, can maintain good root growth in boron toxic soils whereas intolerant lines will have stunted roots.

"Our identification of the genes and their variants responsible for this adaptation to boron toxicity means that we now have molecular markers that can be used in breeding programs to select lines for boron tolerance with 100% accuracy."

Dr Sutton says wheat has been difficult to work with in genomics. The wheat genome is very large, with about six times the number of genes as humans. This complexity has meant that genes controlling yield and adaptation to environmental stresses have remained extremely challenging to identify.

"Advances in molecular biology and genetics technologies of the past few years, coupled with the extensive collections of wheat genetic material available around the world, have paved the way for a new era in the analysis of complex genomes such as wheat," he says.

In this study, the researchers tracked these specific boron tolerance genes from wild wheats grown by the world's earliest farmers in the Mediterranean region, through wheat lines brought into Australia more than a century ago, to current day Australian commercial varieties.

They found a distinct pattern of gene variant distribution that was correlated to the levels of boron in soils from different geographical regions.

"This discovery means that wheat breeders will now have precision selection tools and the knowledge to select for the right variants of the tolerance gene needed to do the job in specific environments," says Dr Sutton.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Adelaide. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Margaret Pallotta, Thorsten Schnurbusch, Julie Hayes, Alison Hay, Ute Baumann, Jeff Paull, Peter Langridge, Tim Sutton. Molecular basis of adaptation to high soil boron in wheat landraces and elite cultivars. Nature, 2014; DOI: 10.1038/nature13538

Cite This Page:

University of Adelaide. "Boron tolerance discovery for higher wheat yields." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 July 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140702131634.htm>.
University of Adelaide. (2014, July 2). Boron tolerance discovery for higher wheat yields. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140702131634.htm
University of Adelaide. "Boron tolerance discovery for higher wheat yields." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/07/140702131634.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins