FAISALABAD: The scientists of the Punjab Seed Council have developed a new wheat variety ‘Wheat Strain 076346 (GOLD-16)’ which is suitable for plantation in Southern Punjab for commercial cultivation.
The new variety would prove instrumental in increasing wheat productivity and will provide financial benefits to the farmers. While giving details of the newly-developed variety, Regional Agricultural Research Institute, Bahawalpur Regional Director Chaudhry Ghulam Hussain told The Express Tribune on Friday that the variety was developed by the funds provided by the Punjab Agricultural Research Board.
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He said, “The new category is capable of producing better yield as compared to the existing wheat varieties in Bahwalpur region.” He added, “Gold-16 has better genetic potential and is heat tolerant and could also resist lodging.”
In addition, Ghulam Hussain pointed out, “The strain of the new variety has better genetic resistance against foliar disease and consists of higher protein values which is almost (14%) with attractive grain colour. It also has the quality of better tolerance against Karnal Bunt, while its strain is also moisture stress tolerant.”
The regional director said wheat was considered as an important food crop of Pakistan which covers about 22 million acres of land. Punjab was the main wheat-producing zone of the country and it contributes 80% of the total wheat production.
He elaborated, “Wheat crop in Punjab is exposed to a large number of problems like heat, drought, frost, diseases and pest attacks.”
“Countering various diseases has been an important focus of the experts as one of the major wheat varieties in the area ‘Sehar-06’ has become susceptible to them. Consequently, there is need to include resistant/tolerant blood in the genetic stock of the province,” he remarked.
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Ghulam Hussain said, “Gold-16, after getting clearance from Ug-99 threat at Kenya, was put up in Micro (Provincial) and NUWYT (Normal) trials for yield performance. The strain was also genetically better tolerant to lodging as it has the qualities of another wheat variety Inqalab-91.” “Release of this wheat strain will give better defense against diseases in the region, especially in Southern Punjab.”