Improving the yield stability of durum wheat under Mediterranean conditions OPTIWHEAT

Lead Research Organisation: Rothamsted Research
Department Name: Unlisted

Abstract

This project seeks to use a powerful systems-biology approach combining genomics, crop physiology and agronomy to generate Durum wheat cultivars that have higher and more stable yields under Mediterranean drought conditions. The central thrust of the project is to both identify existing variation in Durum wheat germplasm and to generate novel genetic variation for the stability of yield under drought stress (SYDS) in Durum wheat. The project will generate a novel mutant population and use these lines to establish TILLING for the first time in Durum wheat. This population will be used for forward and reverse genetic approaches to identify lines with enhanced SYDS and to understand how the structure and expression of specific genes contribute to the variation of yield trait components under Mediterranean conditions. The major objectives are: 1.Generate novel variation in a Durum wheat by random chemical mutagenesis and TILLING technology 2.Determine the novel variation for integrative morpho-physiological traits, yield and quality within the TILLING population under mediterranean conditions 3. Identify lines with superior yield characteristics within this TILLING population 4. Select best performing wheat lines to further evaluate SYDS, WUE and NUE 5. Identify characteristic patterns of gene expression associated with yield stability under water stress 6. Identify TILLING lines representing a gene specific allelic series of mutations, including knockouts, for candidate genes of importance to WUE 7. Select best Durum lines evaluated under field and controlled environment conditions for integration into breeding programmes. 8. Screen for variation of candidate genes in germplasm panels- 9. Train young scientists from OPTIWHEAT partners 10. Organize a final workshop to identify obstacles that prevent the transfer of latest technology and strategies to overcome such obstacles.
 
Description A mutant population of over 8900 lines has been created giving viable seed and DNA at the M2 generation, An analysis of the suggests a mutation frequency of about 1 per 30kbp and thus every seventh base pair is mutated somewhere in this population. An extensive mirror archive of DNA stocks and seed for the TILLING population has been established by INRA in Morocco, and has been made available to interested researchers and breeding companies.

Out of 483 lines grown, 326 were selected by plant breeders at INRA and ICARDA for incorporation into durum wheat breeding programmes.

In the M5 to M7 generations, lines have been identified that are resistant to Hessian Fly and/or Wheat Stem Sawfly. In addition 5 lines with resistance to leaf rust or septoria were identified.
Exploitation Route Lines with promising traits will be taken forward by INRA and ICARDA. Mutations within the TILLING population can be identified and used to create new markers for key traits that could be exploited in breeding programmes
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Education

 
Description Tilling lines with exhibiting improved agronomic traits (high yield, pest & pest resistance) were incorporated into the INRA and ICARDA breeding programmes.
First Year Of Impact 2007
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Economic

 
Description World Life Science Conference in Plant and Environment session, Beijing 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Keynote lecture 'Improving Photosynthesis the engine of Life to Increase Crop Yields' in Plant and Environment session at the World Life Science Conference, Beijing 2016
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description • 'Capturing more carbon while using water and nutrients more effectively' Global Plant Council Stress Resilience Symposium Stress Resilience Symposium, Foz do Iguaçu Brazil. October 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk 'Capturing more carbon while using water and nutrients more effectively' at the Global Plant Council Stress Resilience Symposium at , Foz do Iguaçu Brazil. October 2015
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description • 'Discovery and creation of genetic variation to enhance the yield potential of wheat' Keynote lecture at 9th International Wheat Conference IWC Sydney, Australia September 2015 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited talk 'Discovery and creation of genetic variation to enhance the yield potential of wheat' Keynote lecture at 9th International Wheat Conference IWC Sydney, Australia September 2015
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2015
 
Description • 'Plenary Lecture at the 1st International Workshop on Food and Health Security, Lima Peru October 2016. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Plenary talk on 'Discovery and creation of genetic variation to increase crop performance for current and future environments' at the 1st International Workshop on Food and Health Security, Lima Peru October 2016.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016