Researchers Find New Wheat Variety That May Help Reduce Global Food Shortage

The researchers developed a modified wheat crop by increasing the amount of protein that controls growth rates in plants.

Edited by Somdatta Saha (with inputs from ANI)  |  Updated: November 26, 2020 16:17 IST

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Researchers Find New Wheat Variety That May Help Reduce Global Food Shortage

Hunger and food shortage are a major concern among people across the globe. As per a report on the United Nation's website, approximately 821 million people worldwide suffered from hunger in 2018. "If nothing changes, the immense challenge of achieving the 'Zero Hunger Target' by 2030 will not be achieved," read the report. Experts suggest adequate and equal food supply and distribution is one possible way to tackle the situation. A new study, published in the journal New Phytologist, elucidates on bridging the food gap world-wide. As per the findings, researchers at the University of York created a modified variety of wheat that can increase wheat production by up to 12 percent.

Wheat and wheat-based foods are staples for almost every person across the globe. It is one wholesome food that provides carbs, fibre, protein and other essential nutrients to a human body on a daily basis. But unfortunately, the production of the crop is not being able to meet the increasing global food demand. "The rate of yield increase has been slowing and is currently less than 1 percent per year," reads a report on ANI.

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Hence, the researchers developed a modified wheat crop by increasing the amount of protein that controls growth rates in plants. This resulted in up to 12 percent increase in crop production, compared to the regular variety. The field experiment also showed that there was no decrease in the grain number.

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"Experts predict that we need to increase global food production by 50 percent by 2030 in order to meet demand from population growth. The negative impacts of climate change on crop yields are making this even more challenging. While researchers are working hard to meet this challenge, there remains a lot to do," stated Professor Simon McQueen-Mason, from the University of York's Centre for Novel Agricultural Products (CNAP) at the Department of Biology.

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