Scientists have discovered a new molecule that can make the wheat crop resistant to climatic stress and boost yields by 50 per cent.
The new molecule has been discovered by researcher Ram Sagar Misra from Shiv Nadar University with the help of two other researchers, Benjamin Davis and Matthew Paul, from the Oxford University and the UK-based Rothamsted Research, respectively.
The molecule have been patented in the US, the UK and the EU by the University of Oxford.
The molecule is non-toxic to the plant and does not get into the wheat grain. This new approach developed through the biotechnology-enabled process is known as “chemical intervention in the plant signalling approach.
The new approach uses Trehalose-6-phosphate (T6P), a central sugar signal in plants, which regulates sucrose use and allocation, underpinning crop growth and development to signal the plant to produce more starch in wheat.
This new method does not rely on genetic modifications (GM) to create super-yields or combat climate change and therefore offers a viable alternative to GM technology.
The molecule is water soluble and can be sprayed on wheat plant or injected to the root of the plant. It can also be used on other crops like rice, maize and potato.
India is world’s second largest wheat producing country after China. India’s average yield is 39 per cent lower than China.