It’s a completely new species, basically a hybrid. It’s a crossed progeny of the spelt and the dicoccum (Or emmer. The durum was also bred from this). The wide and very wide genetic background have united in it.
The vitality (vigor), robustness, high protein content of the spelt have united with the hardness, gluten-flexibility and drought tolerance of the emmer. (The emmer was the most typical wheat in the ancient Egypt and Babylon.) In breeding, the heterosis means that some parental characteristics could turn out more powerfully in the progenies. Regarding the king wheat’s most lines, this manifests itself in the extraordinary kernel-size and test weight (Hl weight). These attributes resulted the species name. Because per the kernel-size, it is the king of wheats among species, there is no bigger and heavier wheat species than this.
The main economical and production technological features of the new species:
- protein content exceeds the common wheat with 25-50% according to traditional calculation (eggless dry pasta making!),
- N-factor is 7,90 - 8,30, while for common wheat it is 5,70 - 6,25,
- protein absorption coefficient is around 95%,
- wet gluten content is approx. 32-45%, spreading is 0 - 3,50mm/h (optimal cooking features for pasta),
- substantially thinner peel results higher milling yield,
- because of the firm inner kernel, in the interest of making dried pasta, more sleet can be gained with appropriate milling technology,
- yellow-pigment content is high – generally exceeds durum’s – significant aspect for pasta making (4,20 - 7,0 mg/kg),
- 1000 kernel weight and test weight is extremely conspicuous (TKW: 54-75g, test weight: 81-86kg),
- despite of the big kernels, sowing-dose is only 110-160 kg/ha,
- tillering is generally 1,5 - 3,5 ears (spikes)/tiller,
- sowing depth is deeper than aestivum’s; 6,50 - 7,50 cm,
- winter and frost tolerance is varying; therefore the life form of varieties can be winter, transitional or spring,
- height is diverse (80-140cm); stem-strength is good-very good, in the case of taller varieties problem can only occur due to the effect of the undue root distribution or to fertilization,
- intensively reveals natural nutrient stocks of the soil (it does not like the fertilized, chemically treated 'dead' soil); it can mobilize dead water which is not utilizable for the common wheat; canopy’s retention and root’s absorption is better,
- it tolerates extreme weather conditions well due to its ecological adaptation (especially drought), several varieties fit specifically into the semi-arid climate,
- disease-reactions differ in point of the characteristics of varieties,
- ripening generally from the earlies to mid, mid-late.