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What would we do without wheat? Wheat is the most widely grown commercial crop in the world, but what do we actually know about it? Join us and dive into the world of wheat where we will be discovering more about our favourite crop!
Live fast, die young to increase nutrient content
Philippa Borrill (Group Leader at John Innes Centre)
When we think about foods made of wheat, like bread, we often think about the carbohydrates they contain. But wheat flour also contains protein and minerals essential for the human diet. What determines the balance between carbohydrates, protein and minerals? How we can make wheat flour more nutritious? This talk will explore how the rate of ageing of the wheat plant can influence how much carbohydrate, protein and mineral accumulates in wheat grains, which will ultimately become the wheat flour we eat.
Raiders of the lost trait
Maria Hernandez-Soriano (Postdoctoral Scientist at John Innes Centre)
Modern wheat is the result of thousands of years of domestication targeting above ground benefits like yield, greener leaves and features that make harvesting more efficient. The underground half of wheat was often neglected in that journey and important root abilities, also called traits, might have been lost. Identifying beneficial root traits in historic wheat landraces and restoring them into our modern cultivars is crucial to support soil health and wheat production. The search for lost root traits in the hidden half of wheat is key for the future of agriculture and food production.
X-raying wheat to understand domestication
Aoife Hughes (Postgraduate Researcher at John Innes Centre)
The transition from our ancient ancestors’ hunter-gatherer lifestyle to settlements and cities begins with farming and domesticating crops. Over thousands of years we have selected the “best” seeds to improve our harvests. We’ve used x-ray imaging to try and understand the differences between wild and selectively bred wheat species.
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