MEXICO CITY – National Forestry, Agriculture and Livestock Research Institute, or INIFAP, scientists have developed a new variety of wheat that is more resistant to disease, an achievement that will reduce the use of fungicides and increase production of the grain, the Mexican Agriculture Secretariat said.
The INIFAP researchers call the new strain of wheat, which “will allow an increase in production of the grain on the national level and will reduce the cost to producers,” CEVY ORO C2008, the secretariat said.
The new type of wheat “has shown that it has resistance to leaf rust (a fungus that attacks the plant) without there having been detected any type of infection as a result of the said disease,” according to the secretariat.
CEVY ORO C2008 will allow Mexico’s wheat farmers to avoid “using fungicides as a way to control the disease in the plant,” the Agriculture Secretariat went on to say.
The crop output with the modified grain, which was tested in INIFAP’s experimental fields, “was similar” to that of common strains of wheat, the secretariat said.
The new form of wheat “contains a protein index ... similar to that of the other (common) variety,” although the one developed by the Institute is more resistant to diseases,” the Agriculture Secretariat said.
The research conducted by Mexican scientists on the grain took place between 2006 and 2009 in the Yaqui Valley, in the northern state of Sonora, and the researchers showed that the wheat can be used by producers in the northwestern states of Sonora, Sinaloa, Baja California and Baja California Sur “without any alterations in its resistance to diseases,” the secretariat said.
Mexico produces some 4.5 million tons of wheat annually, and the grain is planted in 20 of the country’s 32 states, including Sonora, Guanajuato, Baja California, Sinaloa and Michoacan.