Development: UC-Desert Gold is a durum wheat variety developed by the introgression of two genes for improved yellow pigment and one gene for reduced grain cadmium content in the UC Davis wheat variety Desert King. This variety was developed by the University of California wheat-breeding program and was tested in Regional Yield trials as experimental line UC1850.
Characteristics: UC-Desert Gold is very similar in yield, heading time and plant height to the successful variety Desert King. UC-Desert Gold has significantly better pasta color, gluten strength and reduced cadmium content in the grain (a beneficial health trait) than Desert King.
Disease resistance: UC-Desert Gold shows good resistant to stripe rust, barley yellow dwarf virus (BYDV) and septoria tritici blot.
Quality: UC-Desert Gold represents an improvement in pasta quality relative to Desert King. It has better semolina and pasta color (see figure) and higher gluten strength. UC-Desert Gold received excellent quality evaluations by the milling industry at the California Wheat Quality Collaborator Program in 2017
*Lab data below is an average from 2020 harvest