TechAccel and UC Davis team to improve wheat yield

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In Missouri and California, TechAccel LLC, a Kansas City-based technology and venture development company, initiated a protein engineering research project with The Siegel Lab in the Genome Center of the University of California, Davis to determine if specific mutations in a wheat enzyme can produce plants capable of thriving in warmer temperatures.

It has been recently reported that global warming is already slowing wheat yield gains, with global wheat production expected to fall by six percent for each degree Celsius increase. The optimum temperature for wheat during the development of the grain is about 15-20 degrees Celsius (59-68 degrees Fahrenheit), but yield diminishes as temperatures increase – a big problem as growing seasons become warmer as a consequence of climate change.

Researchers will use advanced techniques in protein structure prediction to construct and test a handful of enzyme variants that TechAccel has been studying to create a recipe for enzyme improvement.