Scientific selection: A century of increasing crop varietal diversity in US wheat

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


A prevalent and persistent biodiversity concern is that modern cropping systems lead to an erosion in crop genetic diversity. Although certain trait uniformity provides advantages in crop management and marketing, farmers facing risks from change in climate, pests, and markets are also incentivized to adopt new varieties to address complex and spatially variable genetics, environment, and crop management interactions to optimize crop performance. In this study, we applied phylogenetically blind and phylogenetically informed diversity metrics to reveal significant increases in both the spatial and temporal diversity of the US wheat crop over the past century. Contrary to commonly held perceptions on the negative impact of modern cropping systems on crop genetic diversity, our results demonstrated a win-win outcome where the widespread uptake of scientifically selected varieties increased both crop production and crop diversity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere2210773119
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number51
StatePublished - Dec 20 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the research assistance of Connie Chan-Kang from the GEMS Informatics Center, University of Minnesota. We also acknowledge the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute for computational resources.

Publisher Copyright:
Copyright © 2022 the Author(s). Published by PNAS.


  • crop variety
  • diversity
  • variety adoption
  • wheat

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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