Wes Jackson uses plant breeding to increase seed weight of kernza grain

May 9, 2015

"thirty-five years later, Jackson's most significant success has been the refinement-- through painstaking plant breeding rather than gene-modification shortcuts-- of kernza, a perennial grain that originated in Turkey and Afghanistan. Often called "intermediate wheatgrass," it is a very distant cousin to commercial wheat. It holds additional nutrients, and has a low gluten content." ""When I started, the typical seed weighed 3.5 milligrams," DeHaan told the Salina Journal late in 2010. "Now, our best seeds are 10 milligrams." Since then, Jackson says the size has increased to 12 milligrams. That's a bit more than one-third the size of a standard wheat berry, but it's productive enough that the Institute sells small bags of the grain at the annual Prairie Festival."" 

 

 

Ken Meter "Wes Jackson: The Seeds of a Perennial Revolution," Yes! Magazine. Winter 2012. 29. http://www.resilience.org/stories/2011-12-24/wes-jackson-perennial-revol... [verified 4/17/14]

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