Scientists at the Australian National University (ANU), ARC Centre of Excellence in Plant Energy Biology, and CSIRO Agriculture and Food have developed a new method to identify drought-resilient wheat quickly, cheaply, and accurately. Research leaders Dr. Arun Yadav and Dr. Adam Carroll said selecting wheat that can grow better during short- to medium-term drought is vital to help fight food insecurity around the world.
The simple test that the researchers developed measures the relative abundance of four amino acids in wheat plants. This predicts the plants' ability to maintain yield under drought much more accurately than current state-of-the-art methods, said Dr. Carroll. He added that the test can be done precisely in greenhouses all year round, at a fraction of the cost of traditional field-based methods.
(Source: Crop Biotech Update, International Service for Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications. www.isaaa.org)