Spraying for Yield

Lead Research Organisation: Rothamsted Research
Department Name: Plant Biology & Crop Science


Crop yields must double in the next 35 years to meet projected global food demand. However, annual yield improvements of major crops are increasing below the rate required. We have pioneered new technology building on previous BBSRC funding that significantly increases grain size and overall yield of wheat. The sugar signalling mechanism mediated by trehalose 6-phosphate (T6P) regulates the allocation of sucrose within the plant and the conversion of sucrose to starch in grain. Through a plant science-chemistry collaboration, UV-cleavable T6P precursors have been developed that enable T6P to be increased in wheat grain to increase conversion of sucrose into starch increasing grain size and yield by up to 20%. To support translation of this fundamental research into commercialisation the project will: 1) to demonstrate efficacy in field environments typical of global wheat production; 2) to develop methodology for scale up synthesis of T6P precursor suitable for large-scale application.


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Description We have discovered a new more efficient path for the synthesis of DMNB-T6P, which is precursor of sugar signalling compound trehalose 6-phosphate which has potential as a crop spray for crop yield improvement.
Initial sprays have been conducted on field trial plots to optimise dosage and timing of spraying of DMNB-T6P.
Exploitation Route The work could be used to improve crop yields.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink