Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2022Peer reviewedOpen access

Evidence for increasing global wheat yield potential

Guarin, Jose Rafael; Martre, Pierre; Ewert, Frank; Webber, Heidi; Dueri, Sibylle; Calderini, Daniel; Reynolds, Matthew; Molero, Gemma; Miralles, Daniel; Garcia, Guillermo; Slafer, Gustavo; Giunta, Francesco; Pequeno, Diego N. L.; Stella, Tommaso; Ahmed, Mukhtar; Alderman, Phillip D.; Basso, Bruno; Berger, Andres G.; Bindi, Marco; Bracho-Mujica, Gennady; Cammarano, Davide; Chen, Yi; Dumont, Benjamin; Rezaei, Ehsan Eyshi; Fereres, Elias; Ferrise, Roberto; Gaiser, Thomas; Gao, Yujing; Garcia-Vila, Margarita; Gayler, Sebastian; Hochman, Zvi; Hoogenboom, Gerrit; Hunt, Leslie A.; Kersebaum, Kurt C.; Nendel, Claas; Olesen, Jorgen E.; Palosuo, Taru; Priesack, Eckart; Pullens, Johannes W. M.; Rodriguez, Alfredo; Roetter, Reimund P.; Ruiz Ramos, Margarita; Semenov, Mikhail A.; Senapati, Nimai; Siebert, Stefan; Srivastava, Amit Kumar; Stockle, Claudio; Supit, Iwan; Tao, Fulu; Thorburn, Peter; Wang, Enli; Weber, Tobias Karl David; Xiao, Liujun; Zhang, Zhao; Zhao, Chuang; Zhao, Jin; Zhao, Zhigan; Zhu, Yan; Asseng, Senthold
Show less authors


Wheat is the most widely grown food crop, with 761 Mt produced globally in 2020. To meet the expected grain demand by mid-century, wheat breeding strategies must continue to improve upon yield-advancing physiological traits, regardless of climate change impacts. Here, the best performing doubled haploid (DH) crosses with an increased canopy photosynthesis from wheat field experiments in the literature were extrapolated to the global scale with a multi-model ensemble of process-based wheat crop models to estimate global wheat production. The DH field experiments were also used to determine a quantitative relationship between wheat production and solar radiation to estimate genetic yield potential. The multi-model ensemble projected a global annual wheat production of 1050 +/- 145 Mt due to the improved canopy photosynthesis, a 37% increase, without expanding cropping area. Achieving this genetic yield potential would meet the lower estimate of the projected grain demand in 2050, albeit with considerable challenges.


yield increase; radiation use efficiency; wheat potential yield; crop model ensemble; global food security

Published in

Environmental Research Letters
2022, Volume: 17, number: 12, article number: 124045
Publisher: IOP Publishing Ltd

      SLU Authors

    • Ahmed, Mukhtar

      • Arid Agriculture University
      • Department of Agricultural Research for Northern Sweden, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences

    Sustainable Development Goals

    End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

    UKÄ Subject classification

    Agricultural Science
    Environmental Sciences

    Publication identifier


    Permanent link to this page (URI)