New genetic variation from old and exotic varieties for environmentally friendly wheat cultivation

Source: Science Daily

Gene banks worldwide make an important contribution to the conservation of biological diversity. In addition to negative traits, old and exotic varieties possess many valuable gene variants that have been lost in modern varieties but may be crucial for plant production in the future. But how can this hidden treasure of valuable biodiversity be tapped for agriculture? This is the question that a research team has been investigating. In an interdisciplinary approach involving plant breeders, plant geneticists, plant pathologists and bioinformaticians, they succeeded in detecting new biodiversity from old varieties for yield performance and resistance to yellow rust infestation in order to leverage it for crop production.