WASHINGTON — One researcher is in Texas. One is in Nebraska. Together, they are striving to launch the hybridized wheat industry. Hybridization is the cross breeding of two genetically different varieties or species. And much like what has been accomplished in cotton and corn, hybridizing wheat is expected to improve the crop’s strength and health and ability to feed a rapidly growing population.
Amir Ibrahim, Ph.D., Texas A&M University AgriLife Research wheat breeder, has spent the past seven years studying the hybridization of wheat in a partnership with University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Stephen Baenziger, Ph.D.
Ibrahim and Baenziger jointly have tested more than 600 lines of hybrid wheat varieties in Nebraska and Texas, and are now developing the necessary knowledge base, germplasm and enhanced trait pools or patterns from these lines to support the development of hybridized wheat. The team’s newest project, “Plant breeding partnerships: Continuing to develop and validate the tools for hybrid wheat,” is supported by a $650,000 USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch Act – Multistate Research grant. For more information, read the Texas A&M AgriLife article.
— USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture