Australia-UK Interdisciplinary partnership to speed cereal breeding

Lead Research Organisation: University of Dundee
Department Name: School of Life Sciences


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Description Ruth Hamilton, my PhD student, has brought back information useful to setting up speed breeding in Dundee and is applying this in her PhD project to speed up the process of using genomic selection to generate new barley cultivars. She has also brought back straw from australian barley cultivars to test for saccharification and to compare with european cultivars.
Exploitation Route Speed breeding can reduce the time taken to develop new barley cultivars.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Chemicals,Energy,Transport

Description Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grant 2018
Amount £150,000 (GBP)
Funding ID RF-2018-30 
Organisation Universities UK International 
Start 03/2018 
End 03/2019
Description Exploring partnerships in barley and cell wall research with australian ECRs 
Organisation University of Adelaide
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Provided funding for up to seven excellent early career researchers from Australia to visit Dundee with a view to setting up strategic research partnershis for the future. Funding was provided via a successful bid to the UUKI Rutherford Fund : RF-2018-30 - Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grant 2018 (£ 150000; 2018 - 2019)
Collaborator Contribution ECRs will visit Dundee for 1-12 months each and perform collaborative research which will lead to longer-term future interactions.
Impact Plant biologists; crop breeders; bioinformaticists; genome scientists
Start Year 2018
Description University of Dundee-University of Queensland barley Speed breeding project 
Organisation University of Queensland
Department Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
Country Australia 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Two month placement at the University of Queensland to learn the Speed breeding technique/evaluate barley straw saccharification in an Australian barley panel Collaboration with Lee Hickey's lab group based at the University of Queensland. Lee Hickey is part of QAAFI (The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation) and a lead researcher in Speed breeding growth systems
Collaborator Contribution This collaboration was to learn about the Speed breeding growth system which rapidly decreases plant generation time. The Hickey lab based at the University of Queensland have taken forward this method which was originally developed by NASA. Ruth worked with Lee Hickey's lab for a short placement. An Australian barley panel was grown in Speed breeding conditions, samples were taken for straw saccharification (sugar release) analysis. This will give us an insight into the saccharification range present in the Australian barley, straw sugar release is an indicator of potential biofuel yield from the barley straw. Samples were also taken of the barley panel from field grown material, this will allow a comparison of Speed breeding grown and field grown barley for straw saccharification. Many traits in plants can be scored in Speed breeding systems, it is currently unknown if straw saccharification can be screened for using the Speed Breeding system. If this is the case this will be advantageous for future breeding projects aimed at improving straw saccharification/similar traits, as plants can be taken through rapid generation advance by using Speed breeding growth systems.
Impact This partnership has led to further research of Speed breeding growth systems at the James Hutton Institute. A range of Speed breeding experiments will be carried out based at the James Hutton Institute that will show the potential that Speed breeding can have to plant science research in Scotland.
Start Year 2017