Breeding wheat varieties for protein? Not so fast

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By Leilana McKindra

STILLWATER, Okla. – Oklahoma State University wheat breeder Brett Carver does not resemble the stereotypical image of a mad scientist at work.

However, he and the rest of the OSU Wheat Improvement Team, an interdisciplinary team of researchers, display mad skills when it comes to fulfilling their charge of developing high-performing wheat varieties that thrive in Oklahoma, while more than satisfying the needs of bakers and millers everywhere.

Turns out, variety selection does play a role in the protein content of wheat.

With low levels of protein marking Oklahoma’s wheat crop for the past two years, it is natural to wonder how much attention the Wheat Improvement Team pays to protein content in the development of new varieties. Well, a lot, actually, though to some degree it is out of the team’s capable hands.


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