UK Researchers Create Synthetic Molecule that Increases Wheat Yield up to 20 Percent
Researchers involved in a joint project between Oxford University and Rothamsted Research have created a synthetic molecule that has increased wheat yield by up to 20 percent when applied to crops in laboratory trials.
The naturally occurring sugar, called T6P, has been found to be key in controlling how wheat plants utilize sucrose generated through photosynthesis in the development of wheat grains. Based on these findings, the Chemical Research Laboratory at Oxford University developed a modified version of T6P called a T6P “precursor” that can be added to a solution that is sprayed onto a crop providing a “pulse” of T6P which caused more sucrose to be drawn into the wheat grain to create starch.
The researchers have also concluded that the T6P treatment could be useful in helping crops be more resilient under drought conditions, and because the molecule is present and works the same across many types of plants, the treatment has the potential to increase yields across a wide variety of crops.