Optimising crop genetics could double global wheat production

Optimising the wheat genome could help us double yields of the crop, according to plant scientists – although other researchers say they are being too optimistic

Life 7 July 2022

hay being harvested

Wheat being turned into hay – it may be possible to significantly increase wheat yields using genetics

David Gray/Getty Images

The world could theoretically double the amount of wheat it produces by breeding versions of the crop that are genetically optimised for different regions. However, crop scientists not involved in the work are sceptical.

Crop experts have previously estimated the “management gap” – or the difference between existing yields of wheat and the theoretical potential yield that could be achieved with better management of irrigation, fertiliser and other factors. Now, for the first time, a …

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