To date, hybrid wheat is grown across an estimated 405,000ha in Europe. Most of it is in France, with a lesser amount in Germany and a very small area in the UK. The reasons for growing it are plentiful, believes Staten Union, which points out it has found a place where there are production challenges and on more marginal sites, where its greater elasticity means it has performed very well.

Wheat Production by Applying Molecular Techniques
Maryam Sana
Maryam Sana

Wheat Production By Applying Molecular Techniques

Keywords: Genome editing, DNA technology, Gene expression, Molecular medicine, Hybridization, Sterility system, Drought tolerance, Hybrid Wheat, Benefits of Hybrid Wheat, Technologies Used to make Hybrid Wheat

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Molecular biology is the branch of biology which deals with the formation, modification, interaction, chemical structure and biological mechanism of DNA, RNA, proteins and other molecules at molecular level. With the help of advanced tools and techniques of separation, manipulation and imaging such as DNA sequencing, polymerase chain reaction, nucleic acid fractionation we can study the biological mechanism that are essential to life such as transcription, translation and cell function.

The term molecular biology was recognized in 1938 by Warren Weaver from Rockefeller Foundation. He believed that recent advancement in technology would significantly change the whole biology. By the use of molecular biology, we will be able to study the action, formation and regulation of various part of cell and be able to treat disease through gene therapy and molecular medicine and it will efficiently target new drugs, diagnose disease and understand the physiology of the cell.

The molecules such as nucleic acids and proteins make their own structure by using the genetic instruction encoded in them. Molecular genetics help us to understand the gene of the molecule which help in formation, behavior of living things and search for mutation in a gene.

Molecular biology is widely used in different techniques and processes like cellular analysis, cloning, DNA amplification, epigenetics, genome editing, protein purification etc. It is also used in prevention and treatment of diseases, production of new proteins and in production of transgenic plant and animal having desired genetic and phenotypic traits. It also plays an important role in improving agricultural production like in Recombinant DNA Technology, gene expression for the production of transgenic crops like cotton.


Wheat is a staple crop and it is vital for humans as it contributes 20% of our energy needs and 25% of dietary proteins. Wheat production lags both in term of yield and in improved application of genomic tools. Its yield should be increased up to 60% in 2050 in order to feed population of 9 billion. Its yield can be improved by molecular based breeding and genetic engineering techniques.

Hybrid wheat are produced by the cross pollination of pure two wheat lines in which pollen grains from one wheat anther is transferred to female part of another wheat line by genetically controlled sterility system. Hordeum chilense based CMS-fertility restorer system and chromosomal XYZ-4E ms system is used to make transgenic hybrid wheat like hybiza, hylux, hytech, hyguardo, hyking, hyclick. Hybrid wheat is more beneficial than self-pollinating conventional wheat because it has efficient root system, early maturity, resistant to drought, cold, waterlogging and disease.

Due to the shortage of cultivated lands for wheat production, people try to increase the yield of wheat per acre by growing drought tolerant wheat that is a transgenic wheat in which different genes from plants like osmoprotectants, glycine betaine, mannitol, molecular chaperons and Late Embryogenesis Abundant(LEA) proteins.

Hybrid wheat

What is hybrid wheat?

Hybrid wheat is a cross between two carefully selected pure wheat lines, so each hybrid variety has genes from both parents. This enhanced genetic package means it expresses hybrid vigor, or heterosis, as it grows.

Because conventional wheat is a self-pollinating crop, it does not cross-pollinate with other wheat varieties. Its flowering biology is such the anther, ovary and stigma all reside in the same flower compartment, so the pollen doesn’t have to travel.

To produce hybrids, plant breeders have had to sterilize the anther in order to get plants to cross-pollinate. In this situation, the pollen has to move, so great care has to be taken during the breeding and multiplication stages, to ensure that the female and male lines are placed properly.


Benefits common to hybrid wheat varieties include:

More developed root system

Increased Tillering

Rapid Plant Establishment

Early Maturity

Resistance to Stress, Cold, Drought, Waterlogging

Good Disease Resistance

Improved Performance on Marginal Sites

Even Plant Establishment

Higher Thousands Grain Weight

To produce hybrids, plant breeders have had to sterilize the anther in order to get plants

Sterility system

Hybrid varieties already on the market are produced using a chemical hybridizing agent, which is a growth regulator that interferes with pollen production. In contrast, most of the varieties in development will be produced using a genetically controlled sterility system.

Even with today’s technology, bringing hybrid varieties to the market can take years. As already mentioned, breeders have to suppress pollen formation in one parent line by making it sterile, to produce hybrids.

That means the female line and the male line have to be grown in close proximity to each other, in order to confirm that cross-pollination takes place. For this, breeders need to get as near to 100% fertility as possible – a difficult and onerous task.

Technologies used to make hybrid wheat

New Technologies

Hordeum chilense-based CMS-fertility restorer system

Chromosomal XYZ-4E-ms system

Transgenic technologies

Conditional male sterility involving use of tectum-specific expression of a gene that converts a pro-toxin into a phytotoxic causing male sterility

Barnase-barstar Seedling system of Bayer Crop Science

Split-barnase system that obviates the need of a barstar-based male restorer line

Seed production technology of DuPont-Pioneer that makes use of transgenes in production of male-sterile lines

The Market

To date, hybrid wheat is grown across an estimated 405,000ha in Europe. Most of it is in France, with a lesser amount in Germany and a very small area in the UK.

The reasons for growing it are plentiful, believes Staten Union, which points out it has found a place where there are production challenges and on more marginal sites, where its greater elasticity means it has performed very well.

Countries tipped to be proper for growing the new hybrid wheats include the UK, France, Germany and other European states, as well as North America, Canada and Australia and New Zealand.

Not amazingly, there has been investment in breeding stations and solutions in these areas, as the large life sciences firms get to grasps with genetics and focus on the countries which will give them a return on their investment.

Future perspectives

Cross breed wheats are believed to have higher agronomic potential than line assortments because of improved grain and straw efficiency and yield dependability under brutal natural conditions.

Fast improvements in wheat genomics, comprehension of quality capacity, and the focused-on adjustment of plant phenotypes utilizing GM advances is probably going to expand the proficiency of hybridization and along these lines help in the improvement of more financially savvy crossover seed creation frameworks.

Sending of novel transgenic builds to drive non-GM half and half rearing frameworks might be a stage towards easing open worry over GM crops. Crossover wheat is probably going to be favorable to the monetary, agronomic, innovative, and natural parts of wheat development and creation.

This will assume a pivotal job in improving worldwide nourishment security and assisting with meeting the aggressive creation focuses for 2050.

To date, hybrid wheat is grown across an estimated 405,000ha in Europe

Application of Molecular Biology in Field of Agriculture

Molecular biology plays a vital role in the field of agriculture by the use of different technologies like DNA markers, transgenic technology and gene expression in order to make improvement in quality, quantity, efficiency of crops and enhancement in food quality.

Technology based on DNA technology and gene expression have great potential in increasing the utilization germplasm resources and enhance the regulation mechanism of plant growth.

Transgenic technology

Transgenic technology means a kind of breeding approach for the creation of new crops plants with new characteristics by using recombinant DNA technology and have a great importance in the production of such crops which leads to:

Low level of mycotoxins in the end product

Target the pest which attacks the crops

Insects pest and disease control

Improvement of quality of food by increasing nutrition

Increase in composition of starch and amino acids.

Gene Expression

A process of formation of new products by using the information encoding in gene and when the crops are under the condition of salinity, drought these genes responds to the changes and helps the researcher to understand about the fact whether crop is working properly or not.


All these technologies lead to the production of fertilizers which plays an essential role in the maintenance of crops especially wheat, cultivation of wheat and increase in water retaining capacity. Fertilizer are given to the plants depending upon the type of crop.

Potassium Fertilizer

It is given to the plants in order to make the better production of wheat by maintaining the balance between proteins and carbohydrates.

Main reserves of wheat

Storage proteins (10-15%)

Starch (55-75%)

These two have major role in changing the quality of wheat.

Nitrogen Fertilizer

It is also required by wheat plant although not in large quality but must needed in small amount.


In order to increase the regeneration ability of plants, reduction in the darkening of tissues, decrease in necrosis due to genetic transformation, antioxidants are essential:

Lipoic acid


Ascorbic acid


Other nutrients like phosphorus, zinc, calcium and iron are also essential in the better growth of wheat and good quality wheat.


Ways to increase yield of wheat using different molecular techniques

Importance of wheat

Wheat is grown on greater than 2 hundred million hectares of land globally, and offers about one-fifth of the entire calorific input of the world’s population. It is widely agreed that development in genetic yield potential will need to be multiplied in order to keep away from encroachment into natural landscapes so there are several methods to growth yield, considered one of them is to make wheat drought tolerant.

Why we need drought tolerant wheat:

Bread wheat (triticum aestivum) is one of the maximum crucial cereal and staple food crops globally, particularly grown in semiarid and arid regions of the sector wherein water scarcity is inflicting extreme yield losses.

The constantly growing population and land degradation have increased the choice for per acre yield boom.

Manufacturing is severely affecting and lowering via 29% because of diverse abiotic stresses, specially drought pressure.

Consequently, enhancing the tolerance of wheat to drought pressure through adaptive strategies is crucial to make certain meals protection.

Drought tolerance

Drought tolerance is a complex quantitative polygenic trait controlled by a large number of genes.

Drought-Induced Gene Expression/Single Action Gene:

Numerous genes have been isolated from various plants and inserted in transgenic wheat to induce stress resistance. These genes could be classified into two groups. The first group is genes involved in cellular protection including osmoprotectants, membrane stabilization, detoxification, and transport proteins.



R. E. a. D.GOLLIN, “assessing the impact of green revolution 1960 to 2000,” pp. 758-762, 2003.


N. R. f.Altpeter, “particle bombardment and the genetiv ehancement of crops,” myths and realities, pp. 305-327, 2005.


C.James, “Global review of commercialized transgenic crops,” pp. 303-309.


m.Muhammadi, “effects of kernal weight and source limitation on wheat grain yeild under heat stress,” pp. 2931-2937.

Bread wheat (Triticum Aestivum) is one of the maximum crucial cereal and staple food crops globally
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