‘MN-Clearwater’, the first food-grade intermediate wheatgrass (Kernza perennial grain) cultivar

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‘MN-Clearwater’ (Reg. no. CV-287, PI 692651) is the world's first commercial food-grade intermediate wheatgrass [IWG; Thinopyrum intermedium (Host) Barkworth & D.R. Dewey subsp. intermedium] grain cultivar. It was developed as a synthetic population at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN, and released in August 2019. Intermediate wheatgrass is a perennial grain crop currently undergoing domestication and is known for its extensive long root system that can recycle soil nutrients and sequester carbon. MN-Clearwater (experimental designation MN1504) was created by intercrossing seven parents selected for high grain yield, reduced shattering, high free grain threshing, reduced lodging, and uniform maturity. MN-Clearwater was advanced for two generations before being evaluated in statewide yield trials, after which the fourth seed generation was released as the cultivar in a limited public release. In variety trials across Minnesota, MN-Clearwater produced 696 kg ha−1 (621 lb ac−1) of grain with minimal lodging and negligible disease levels. The first 2 yr produce the highest grain yields under Minnesota conditions, and third-year yields are significantly lower (average reduction of 77%) than the first 2 yr. As the first IWG cultivar released for sale under the Kernza trade name (The Land Institute), we expect this population to be a cornerstone resource for the IWG research community as well as for interested growers, food processors, and commercial partners. MN-Clearwater grain is sold as Kernza perennial grain.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-297
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Plant Registrations
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

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© 2020 The Authors. Journal of Plant Registrations © 2020 Crop Science Society of America


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