Field crops

Speedier wheat could feed more people, research suggests

If wheat leaves could shift gears faster between moments of shade and light, plants could make more grain, increasing the capacity of a plot of ground to feed people.

Researchers are seeking the genes that control how quickly wheat leaves gear up when hit by flecks of sunlight. They are fueled by evidence of a stronger link between photosynthesis and crop yield than scientists have thought, said Assistant Professor Tom Buckley of the UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences.