Check out the Land Institute. Google it and then go to links to their publications. They are doing the most work on Intermediate wheatgrass and on intermediate wheatgrass X wheat. They are working on a variety called Kernza, or maybe it is Kernsa, I'm not sure. It has been found to have some wheat chromosome segments in it, but it is mostly intermediate wheatgrass. It is being test marketed. Most recently they have 30 acres in production. They are only sharing the seed with researchers. I don't yet know their standards for who is a researcher. They have selected for bigger seeds and higher seed yield, with success. They continue doing the same thing, since it is working. I was working on it at the Land back 30 years ago, and now that I'm retired I'm started working on it again. My project is to add a single wheat genome to intermediate wheatgrass and see how much effect it has. Also hope to try rye added to wheatgrass, but rye won't cross as easily as wheat, I expect.
I spent some time a couple of weeks ago talking with Dr. Lee De Haan. I am not sure that is the correct spelling but if you want you can google Land Institute and check spelling. And learn what they are doing with their Kernza grain. I was mistaken in my last post. Kernza doesn't have any wheat DNA in it. From the origional 4% of seed that threshed free of the glumes, now 20% does. And the seeds are bigger than what they started with. Noticably bigger. I don't know weight difference. I did get some Kernza from them for my own use, and planted 150 seeds of it this morning. I didn't get permission to share it. Contact them if you want some. I don't know but I think they are more interested in keeping track of where it is than maintaining control of it. They don't want the huge companies to get control of it..
The newest issue of the Land Report came yesterday. They report progress in commercial use of intermediate wheatgrass. Columbia County Bread and Grain is now selling a crisp flatbread. It is made with four that is half sprouted Kernza (The Land trademarked name for food made with intermediate wheatgrass seed) and half spelt. The spelt helps the sprouted Kernza through the mill. I think from what it says that the spelt is also sprouted, though that isn't clear.
Also it says that the first commercial field of intermediate wheatgrass mixed with alfalfa so the nitrogen fertilizer for the wheatgrass comes from the alfalfa. The wheatgrass grain will be used by Patagonia Provisions in making Long Root Ale, which uses 15% wheatgrass, 85% barley. 3 fields were planted with the mixture, totaling 30 acres. Papigonia was already buying wheatgrass grain from 200 acres of wheatgrass.
I didn't get the intermediate wheatgrass planted last fall, so I tried starting some inside and transplanting it outside. I gave the small plants a cold treatment to get it to bloom this spring-summer. That didn't work very well. Most transplanted died. Only 13 out of 50 survived, and they aren't thriving like I thought they would. Well, I have plenty of seed left. And early fall planting is probably best anyway. I did want to get a generation of selection in this year, but it won't happen.
Kansas State University has a collection of wheat hybrids, doubled but not really stablized. I. e., the aphiploid of wheat x intermediate wheatgrass looses wheatgrass chromosomes as the generations pass. Anyway, they are $15 per sample. I hope to get wheatgrass x (wheat x intermediate wheatgrass) cross made next year. Dr. Lee De Hann says this is not an easy cross. Embryoes are very hard to see without a microscope, and embryo rescue is needed. But I think it needs to be done.
So the KSU collection includes: Triticum aestivum x Thinopyron intermedium T. aestivum x Thinopyron ponticum T. monococum x T. turgidum (AA x AABB=AAAABB) T. monococcum x T. timopheevi (AA x AAGG=AAAAGG) T. aestivum x T. tauchi (AABBDD x DD= AABBDDDD)
The Land Institute is having good luck with tetraplooid wheat x Thinopyrum hybrids. Their problem since the start has not getting perennial wheat or perennial wheat hybrids to survive winters nor to regrow after harvest. Their problem was that the perennials wouldn't survive summer heat and drought. So they went to pure intermediate wheatgrass and did recurrent selection in that. They have been moderately successful with it. But they continued with wheat x wheatgrass hybrids, and finally, a couple of years ago, they were successful with a tetraploid wheat x wheatgrass hybrid derivative that shows promise. It has survived a couple of summers without irrigation. This summer will be a real test, but they are hopeful.