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Combining Trait Physiology, Crop Modelling and Molecular Genetics to Improve Wheat Adaptation to Terminal Water-Stress Targeting Stay-Green and Root Traits

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Christopher, J., Richard, C., Chenu, K., Christopher, M., Paccapelo, V., Borrell, A. and Hickey, L. (2019) Combining Trait Physiology, Crop Modelling and Molecular Genetics to Improve Wheat Adaptation to Terminal Water-Stress Targeting Stay-Green and Root Traits. Proceedings, 36 (1). p. 196. ISSN 2504-3900

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Article Link: https://doi.org/10.3390/proceedings2019036196


Terminal drought stress is currently a major constraint in many wheat production regions. This is predicted to worsen with future climate change. The stay-green phenotype allows crops to remain green and photosynthesize for longer after anthesis, potentially improving yields in terminal drought environments. Root systems with greater root length density at depth can contribute by increasing access to deep soil moisture late in the season. To study the genetics of root and stay-green traits in wheat, a multi reference parent nested association mapping (NAM) population was developed. Using the "speed breeding" system of rapid generation advance, over 1500 recombinant inbred lines (RIL) were generated in approximately 18 months. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) using a novel whole-genome NAM method (WG-NAM) identified genetic regions associated with the target traits. High-throughput techniques were developed and used for the NAM lines to (i) phenotype seedling roots in controlled conditions, and (ii) objectively characterize novel stay-green traits for hundreds of genotypes in standard yield plots in the field. NAM lines were phenotyped for yield and stay-green traits at multiple water-stressed and non-stressed environments during 4 seasons. Particular traits were associated with superior adaptation to certain environments. Many lines with adaptive root and stay-green traits exhibited superior yield to the reference parent in relevant target environments and 54 such lines have been provided to commercial Australian wheat breeders for cultivar development. This combination of technologies is increasing understanding of physiological adaptation to water-limited environments in wheat and helping accelerate genetic progress.

Item Type:Article
Business groups:Crop and Food Science
Additional Information:Presented at the third International Tropical Agriculture Conference (TROPAG 2019), Brisbane, Australia, 11–13 November 2019.
Keywords:root architecture speed-breeding nested association mapping genome-wide association studies AgTech
Subjects:Science > Botany > Genetics
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agriculture and the environment
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Agricultural meteorology. Crops and climate
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Methods and systems of culture. Cropping systems
Plant culture > Seeds. Seed technology
Plant culture > Field crops > Wheat
Live Archive:28 Jul 2020 06:56
Last Modified:26 May 2022 01:45

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