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In wild strains, a more fragile rachis allows the ear to easily shatter and disperse the spikelets.Selection for these traits by farmers might not have been deliberately intended, but simply have occurred because these traits made gathering the seeds easier; nevertheless such 'incidental' selection was an important part of crop domestication.
Cultivation of wheat began to spread beyond the Fertile Crescent after about 8000 BCE.
Genes for the 'dwarfing' trait, first used by Japanese wheat breeders to produce short-stalked wheat, have had a huge effect on wheat yields worldwide, and were major factors in the success of the Green Revolution in Mexico and Asia, an initiative led by Norman Borlaug.
Dwarfing genes enable the carbon that is fixed in the plant during photosynthesis to be diverted towards seed production, and they also help prevent the problem of lodging.
Wheat is grown on more land area than any other food crop (220.4 million hectares, 2014).
Global demand for wheat is increasing due to the unique viscoelastic and adhesive properties of gluten proteins, which facilitate the production of processed foods, whose consumption is increasing as a result of the worldwide industrialization process and the westernization of the diet.By 3000 BCE, wheat had reached the British Isles and Scandinavia. The oldest evidence for hexaploid wheat has been confirmed through DNA analysis of wheat seeds, dating to around 6400-6200 BCE, recovered from Çatalhöyük.