Climate change may outpace current wheat breeding yield improvements in North America

Tianyi Zhang, Yong He, Ron DePauw, Zhenong Jin, David Garvin, Xu Yue, Weston Anderson, Tao Li, Xin Dong, Tao Zhang, Xiaoguang Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Variety adaptation to future climate for wheat is important but lacks comprehensive understanding. Here, we evaluate genetic advancement under current and future climate using a dataset of wheat breeding nurseries in North America during 1960-2018. Results show that yields declined by 3.6% per 1 °C warming for advanced winter wheat breeding lines, compared with −5.5% for the check variety, indicating a superior climate-resilience. However, advanced spring wheat breeding lines showed a 7.5% yield reduction per 1 °C warming, which is more sensitive than a 7.1% reduction for the check variety, indicating climate resilience is not improved and may even decline for spring wheat. Under future climate of SSP scenarios, yields of winter and spring wheat exhibit declining trends even with advanced breeding lines, suggesting future climate warming could outpace the yield gains from current breeding progress. Our study highlights that the adaptation progress following the current wheat breeding strategies is challenging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5591
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Tianyi Z. appreciate Qiao Kang and Zhi Chen for their supports in data preparation. Tianyi Z. is funded by the National Key Research and Development Project of China (2019YFA0607402) and the Youth Innovation Promotion Association of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2018104). X. Yang is funded by the 2115 Talent Development Program of China Agricultural University.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s).


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