Transforming Agriculture, Perennially

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Huntsville scientists explore potential of alternative wheat crop Kernza

Publication: WAAY TV | Huntsville, AL

Author: Travis Leder

Scientists at Huntsville’s HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology are exploring the uses of a certain wheatgrass which is becoming an increasingly popular alternative source for breadmaking and brewing beer.

“This intermediate wheatgrass its called, or perennial wheatgrass is very different than the annual grain of wheat that we plant,” says HudsonAlpha faculty investigator and co-director of the Institute’s Genome Sequencing Center Jeremy Schmutz.

This is because humans have only recently tried to start breeding this grain crop more commonly known as Kernza — a registered trademark of The Land Institute. HudsonAlpha is working with the Kansas not-for-profit organization to sequence the grain’s genome in an effort to yield bigger harvests. This research could help Kernza become a mainstream food source. …

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