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KSU Researchers To Develop Heat-Tolerant Wheat Grain

AgriLife Today (agrilifetoday) / Flickr.

Two Kansas State University researchers are developing a type of wheat that will tolerate hotter temperatures as the grain is developing.

The Topeka Capital-Journal reports that problem is kernels start to shrivel if temperatures are too high--the wheat grains begin to fill out. That happens in May and June in Kansas.

The transgenic wheat contains genetic material into which DNA from an unrelated organism has been artificially introduced.

In this case, the researchers added genetic material from rice to wheat.

Professor Harold Trick says wheat is a cool-season grass, and its grain fills out best when temperatures are between 60 and 65 degrees. Potentially, a 3 percent to 4 percent yield loss occurs with every 2- to 3-degree rise in temperature.