Synthetic Hexaploid Wheat

The diagram shows the natural evolution of Spelt and Bread Wheat with, on the left side, the creation of Synthetic Hexaploid Wheat (SHW).
Wild Einkorn and Goat Grasses are diploids, each of the cells of the plants containing 14 chromosomes.
Emmer Wheat and Durum Wheat are tetraploids with 28 chromosomes.
Spelt and Bread Wheat, created by natural evolution from tetraploid Emmer Wheat and a diploid Goat Grass, are hexaploids, each cell containing 42 chromosomes.
For additional information, click on the Evolution of Wheat or for more details of Synthetic Hexaploid Wheat click on The Wheat Genome.
The National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB) has re-synthesised the original random hybridisation that occurred about 10,000 years ago between a cultivated early wheat and a wild grass species. Using modern Durum Wheat, a tetraploid wheat, and pollen from a diploid Goat Grass, a range of Synthetic Hexaploid Wheats have been created. Samples of these have been distributed to UK wheat breeders to enable them to assess their potential to provide genes to widen the diversity of modern wheat varieties. Additional information on this wheat re-synthesis programme is available to download as a pdf file from NIAB.

New Hall Mill is very fortunate to have been given a few seeds from a small selection of SHWs. These will be grown at the mill and be available for viewing during our Open Days in 2016.