Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Food & Beverage Analysis
Scientific Community
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article

Boron Tolerance Discovery for Higher Wheat Yields

Published: Friday, July 04, 2014
Last Updated: Friday, July 04, 2014
Bookmark and Share
Adelaide scientists have identified the genes in wheat that control tolerance to a significant yield-limiting soil condition found around the globe - boron toxicity.

Published in the journal Nature, 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.

Further Information
Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 2,600+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More than 3,800+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters

Sign In

Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Scientific News
Arsenic Found in Many U.S. Red Wines
A new University of Washington study that tested 65 wines from America’s top four wine-producing states — California, Washington, New York and Oregon — found all but one have arsenic levels that exceed what’s allowed in drinking water.
Viruses Join Fight Against Harmful Bacteria
Engineered viruses could combat human disease and improve food safety.
Plastic for Dinner
Roughly a quarter of the fish sampled from fish markets in California and Indonesia contained man-made debris according to a study from the University of California, Davis, and Hasanuddin University in Indonesia.
Diet, Exercise, Smoking Habits and Genes Interact To Affect and Risk
NIH-funded study points to converging factors that drive disease-related inflammation.
Marzipan Made From Pure Almonds
Researchers carry out DNA analyses and use advanced protein identification techniques to determine whether marzipan is made from pure almonds or also contains other nuts or beans.
Natural Compound Prevents Obesity in Mice
Results show that lower doses of celastrol can prevent obesity without affecting hunger.
Health Risks of Saturated Fats Aggravated by Immune Response
Research shows that the presence of saturated fats resulted in monocytes migrating into the tissues of vital organs.
Decrease in Foodborne Outbreaks in Denmark
Almost every other registered salmonella infection in Denmark in 2014 was brought back by Danes travelling overseas.
How Safe Is Your Ground Beef?
If you don’t know how the ground beef you eat was raised, you may be putting yourself at higher risk of illness from dangerous bacteria. You okay with that?
Sweeteners Detected in Human Breast Milk
New data show that multiple types of NNS can be passed to nursing infants.

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
2,600+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
3,800+ scientific videos