As a major cereal crop worldwide, wheat contributes on average one-fifth of the calories in the human diet and is the main source of protein and nutrients for much of the world's population. Wheat varieties with improved nutritional quality, high grain yield and desirable processing quality attributes in adapted genetic backgrounds can help alleviate nutrient deficiencies among resource poor people. This paper reports advances in targeted crosses of landraces and ancestors of common wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), such as Aegilops tauschii, Triticum turgidum ssp. diccocoides, T.turgidum ssp. dicoccum and T.aestivum ssp. spelta species, which feature significant genetic variation for grain zinc and iron, with high-yielding bread wheat lines from the CIMMYT breeding program that have desirable processing and end-use quality. High-yielding lines that resulted from these crosses possessed preferred processing quality traits and 10-90% higher grain micronutrient concentrations than popular commercial varieties.
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