The contribution of distant hybridization with decaploid Agropyron elongatum to wheat improvement in China
Abstract Wheat is a staple food crop in the world as well as in China. Because of the progress of wheat breeding and other agricultural scitechnologies, the wheat grain yield per unit area has increased more than five folds from 1952 to 2006 in China. The first part of this article briefly reviews the history of wheat breeding in China. Second, the establishment of “ Triticum aestivum-Agropyron ” distant hybridization system and its contribution to wheat production and breeding in China are summarized. Finally, the future challenges of wheat breeding are discussed, which include how to increase the utilization efficiencies of water, soil nutrient and light energy through breeding. As an example, our research progress on how to increase light use efficiency in wheat through breeding is introduced and discussed.