DFW - Designing Future Wheat - Work package 1 (WP1) - Increased efficiency and sustainability

Lead Research Organisation: Rothamsted Research
Department Name: Unlisted

Abstract

Increasing yield, both intrinsic yield and closing of the yield gap, must be achieved with increased efficiency and sustainability with regard to fertiliser and water input. Increased yield and efficiency in both higher and lower yielding environments, in present and future climates, requires genetic improvements in yield traits per se, as well as in tolerance to abiotic and biotic stresses. WP1 addresses two topics with shared objectives across the wheat and other JIC, RRes, EI and IFR programmes. Both require intensive high throughput field phenotyping, aided by the newly- established unique RRes and JIC facilities for in-field automated phenotyping, focussed on wheat research and employed to evaluate novel germplasm, including donor germplasm, segregating and TILLING populations. WP1 also includes further development of specific automated high throughput field phenotyping methodologies for monitoring wheat performance, the genetic dissection of key traits and the development of improved germplasm. Exploiting these approaches, WP1 researchers will dissect a range of traits using the germplasm and other resources developed within DFW. These traits include those involved in tolerance to drought and temperature stress, root and shoot development, crop height, inflorescence and grain architecture, seed size and architecture, root response to nutrient availability, use of nitrogen and other nutrients. The effect of these traits on biomass, and the potential and stability of grain yield, will be quantified.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description • A number of genes involved in plant architecture and response to stress are being evaluated for exploitation in wheat through analysis of mutations, identified through TILLING. Most are loss-of-function in genes with three functional homoeologues, so initial crossing to achieve triple homozygous lines is required. So far, we have identified novel phenotypes for knock-outs in GID1, (reduced stature), DIM (reduced stature/increased flag leaf angle), BRI1 (reduced stature, GA2ox3 (increased stature) and D14/D3 (increased tillering). A gain of function mutation in SPL14-B1b results in reduced tillering and increased culm strength. Suppressor screens have led to the identification of around 40 novel Rht-1 dwarfing mutations that will allow precise control of plant height and potentially other traits such as preharvest sprouting resistance. Many other alleles are in the pipeline and backcrossing to remove excess mutations is in progress.
• Wheat genotypes with contrasting response to high temperature stress identified.
• We have identified a series of differentially expressed genes in near isogenic lines differing for grain size in wheat (Brinton et al 2017 New Phytologist, Brinton et al 2018; BMC Plant Biology). We have now identified a strong candidate gene for this phenotype which we are currently testing using Cas9-mediated gene editing and EMS mutants. We are working with industry (Limagrain and RAGT) to understand the frequency of the mutant allele in UK germplasm and its impact on yield under UK environment.
• We have generated triple GW2 mutants which show an additive dosage effect on grain size with triple mutants having on average 21% heavier grains than wild type plants with three functional homoeologs. The three mutant alleles alongside the corresponding KASP marker are currently being used by DFW partners breeders (RAGT, KWS, Limagrain, Bayer, Syngenta). Near isogenic lines of the A genome mutant are also being grown as part of the Breeder's Toolkit.
• We explored the effects of microbial activity on the evaporation of water from cores of a sandy soil under laboratory conditions. We applied treatments to stimulate microbial activity by adding different amounts of synthetic analogue root exudates. For comparison, we used soil samples without synthetic root exudates as control and samples treated with mercuric chloride to suppress microbial activity. Our results suggest that increasing microbial activity reduces the rate of evaporation from soil. Estimated diffusivities in soil with the largest amounts of added root exudates were one third of those estimated in samples where microbial activity was suppressed by adding mercuric chloride. We conclude that root exudates may play and important role in metering water up take by roots.
• The traditional first-derivative interpretation of percolation characteristics measured by mercury intrusion, and analogously by porometry or water retention, can lead to false suppositions. We have identified an improved method of analysis which, with the aid of stochastic inverse modelling, allows a more realistic estimate of the sizes of voids within a porous material, and identifies those voids within the estimate that are actually void clusters.
• Improved workflow for drone imaging especially using thermal imagery. Data for JIC and Reading and improved population trials. Indications of influences of irrigation, genotype and time of day.
• RNASeq transcriptomic datasets collected for roots and node tissues of wheat, across multiple genotypes and varied N-input. Analysis in progress.
• Multiple genes for amino acid transporters identified which are expressed in discrete grain tissues and potentially involved in grain N accumulation
• Modelling predicts that drought tolerance during reproductive development is important for achieving higher yield potentials and greater yield stability for wheat under future climate change in Europe.
• Continued development of phenotyping, including ear counting, canopy development, cross mapping of sensor information.
Exploitation Route • Suppressor screens have led to the identification of around 40 novel Rht-1 dwarfing mutations. Many other alleles are in the pipeline and backcrossing to remove excess mutations is in progress.
• Root exudates may play and important role in metering water up take by roots.
• Improved workflow for drone imaging especially using thermal imagery.
• Modelling predicts that drought tolerance during reproductive development is important for achieving higher yield potentials and greater yield stability for wheat under future climate change in Europe
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

 
Description • There is significant commercial interest in novel alleles in wheat architecture genes. Novel mutants in genes involved in gibberellin biosynthesis and signalling are being introgressed into winter and spring cultivar to be assessed as alternatives to Rht-1 dwarfing alleles. Novel Rht-1 dwarfing alleles are expected to be available for inclusion in the BTK by the end of 2019. • Genetic diversity for heat tolerance enables breeding of climate resilient crops for mitigating negative impacts of global warming on crop yields. • Drought stress during reproductive development could drastically reduce grain number in wheat, but quantitative evaluation of such effect is unknown under climate change. For the first time we quantified potential yield benefits of drought tolerance during reproductive development under climate change and identified potential cultivar traits for improvement. We concluded that tolerance to drought stress during reproductive development is important for high yield potentials and greater yield stability of wheat under climate change in most of the wheat growing regions in Europe. Our analysis could potentially accelerate breeding programmes by identifying target traits for wheat improvement in a changing climate. • Improvements in automated phenotyping will allow more detailed and higher throughput of germplasm screening. Considerable industry interest is being shown.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)
Impact Types Societal,Economic

 
Description A meeting between CIMMYT and DFW funded by BMGF to discuss collaboration projects 
Organisation International Centre for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT)
Country Mexico 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution I organised a meeting funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation brought together members of the BBSRC's coordinated wheat programme (Designing Future Wheat) with members of CIMMYT (who breed wheat for the resource poor in the developing world), discuss potential opportunities for interaction. These opportunities are taken forward by writing proposals for Newton , GCRF or IWYP funding calls
Collaborator Contribution See above
Impact This interaction is still ongoing between members of BBSRC's coordinated wheat programme (Designing Future Wheat) and researchers within CIMMYT with proposals being written for IWYP and Newton calls
Start Year 2018
 
Description 2nd Asian Pacific Plant Phenotyping Meeting, Nanjing 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Malcolm Hawkesford to give plenary talk at the meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Attendee at From Tree Physiology to Ecosystem Physiology Conference, Freiburg 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact From Tree Physiology to Ecosystem Physiology Symposium was organised by University of Freiburg to mark the retirement of Heinz Rennenberg.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cereals 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact attended Cereals 2017, on the BBSRC and Rothamsted stand showcasing phenotyping platforms and drones
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Conference organiser of PAG San Diego attracting 3800 plant and animal researchers 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I am on the organising committee of the largest plant and animal ag genomics conference attracting some 3800 researchers, policy makers, industry etc
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity Pre-2006,2006,2007,2008,
 
Description Crop Protection and Platform Technologies meeting with Syngenta 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Engagement with Industry, discussion and planning
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description DFW BREEDERS TOOLKIT ANNUAL MEETING 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact DFW Breeders Toolkit Annual Meeting - discussion and planning for Toolkit development and assessment, decisions on which to take forward; propose markers experiments; data handling;
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Interview for Crop Production Magazine 
Form Of Engagement Activity A press release, press conference or response to a media enquiry/interview
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Interview for Crop Production Magazine re new technology of automated phenotyping
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Member of International Advisory Board 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Significance of Sulfur in High-Input Cropping Systems Conference, Groningen
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Member of the board of the G20 wheat initative 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I am a board member of the G20 wheat initiative set up by the G20 agricultural ministers to facilitate coordination of wheat research in the G20 countries. We organise working group to facilitate such coordination, and to identify priorities for funding by funding agencies within the G20 countries
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015
 
Description Member of the management board of CGIAR wheat programme (CIMMYT and ICARD) to breed wheat for the resource-poor in the developing World 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact A management board member of CGIAR wheat programme (CIMMYT and ICARD) to breed wheat for the resource-poor in the developing World
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2011,2012,2013,2014,2015
 
Description NIAB-TAG breeders day 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Attendance at NIAB-TAG Breeders Day, which offers expert independent advice and research on variety choice, plant breeding, crop agronomy, plant protection, soils and cultivations with a mix of seminars, exhibits and field and glasshouse demonstrations
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description NUCLEUS project workshop, Brazil 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Joint Meeting between the two UK & Brazil Virtual Joint Centres on Agricultural Nitrogen for NUCLEUS (a virtual joint centre to deliver enhanced Nitrogen Use effiCiency via an integrated SoiLplant systEms approach for the Uk & BraSil) and UBNFC (UK Brazil Nitrogen Fixation Centre)
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Plenary talk at Plant Phenomics Conference, CAS Beijing 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invitation to give a plenary talk of 30-min at the Plant Phenomics 2017 conference, organized by the Genetics Society of China in partnership with the Institute of Genetics and Developmental Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, December 1st-5th, 2017, Beijing, China. Title of talk: Developments in automated field phenotyping of wheat at Rothamsted
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at Nature Conference: Agricultural Genomics 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Invited plenary speaker at the Nature Conference entitled "Agricultural Genomics 2017: Functional Genomics toward Green Crops for Sustainable Agriculture", Wuhan, China on October 25-27, 2017, organized by Nature Genetics, Nature Plants, Nature Communications, in partnership with Huazhong Agricultural University. Presentation Title: Nutrient use efficiency in wheat: prospects for improvement
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation at Significance of Sulfur in High-Input Cropping Systems Conference 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation 'Linking genes to field performance: adventures in sulfur research'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation to Waitrose Agronolmy Group 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Farm practices and the farm assessment: a role for new science. The audience consisted of Senior agronomists / technologists from who wish to perform Waitrose Farm Assessment Version 4, and Waitrose suppliers and Waitrose Technical Team. The meeting focussed on on the development of new environmentally sustainable supply chain practice in the production of food and how we can quantify the impacts of changing practice through the farm assessment.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation, Bayer 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Presentation "Integration of root and soils expertises into the yield studies" at Bayer head office, Germany at their 'Crop Efficiency days' research day of seminars
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Review Panel, DFG Workshop, Bonn 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Priority Programme Rhizosphere Spatiotemporal Organisation - a Key to Rhizosphere Functions
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Seminar at Sichuan Agricultural University - M J Hawkesford 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact seminar title 'Technical Challenges and solutions for designing future wheat'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Seminar at VIB, Belgium 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Nutrient Use Efficiency in Wheat and Prospects for Improvement seminar given at VIB, Dept of Plant Sciences, Ghent, Belgium
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Seminar, Cranfield University 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact 'Automated and high throughput imaged-based field phenotyping technology at Rothamsted'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Seminars at Sichuan Agricultural University YF Wang 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Seminar titles: 'Rothamsted, the world's oldest agricultural experiments, and the future of wheat'; 'Challenges and solutions for designing future wheat.'
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description University of Bristol/RRes Farming Futures Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Further workshops are planned for the future,
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by British Guild of Agricultural Journalists 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Visit to the Scanalyser Phenotyping Platform by British Guild of Agricultural Journalists
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by Bayer Joint Steering Committee to Scanalyser 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Visit by Bayer Joint Steering Committee to Scanalyser
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by Bayer Marketing and Development Team to Scanalyser 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Visit by Bayer Marketing and Development Team to Scanalyser
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by Greg Rebetske ( CSIRO) to Scanalyser 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Greg has similar research interests in wheat breeding
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by Kelloggs to Scanalyser 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact visit by Kellogg's Global Innovation and Nutrition team to the Scanalyser
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by Limagrain 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Visit to Scanalyser Phenotyping platform by Limagrain
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by Lord de Ramsey and Rothamsted Board members 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Supporters
Results and Impact Visit to GM field trial by Lord de Ramsey and Rothamsted Board members
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by Nestle 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Visit to the Scanalyser
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by Northwest A & F University, China 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact Visit to Scanalyser
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by Peter Lootens, ILVO Belgium to Scanalyser 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact ILVO is the Institute for Agricultural, Fisheries and Food Research, Peter Lootens is from the Plant Sciences Unit - Growth and Development.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by Royal Agricultural University students 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Undergraduate students
Results and Impact Visit to the Field Scanalyzer and drone demonstration as part of their Wheat Development module
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by Yara 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Visit by Yara to the scanalyser phenotyping platfrom
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit by delegates of the Expert Working Group on Nutrient Use Efficiency 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact The Expert Working Group on Nutrient Use Efficiency visited RRes as part of their workshop, they were shown the Scanalyser, archive, Long Term Experiments and laboratories
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Visit to Scanlayser by Terramera (Canada) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Terramerra were introduced by Lemnatec, the manufacturer of the Scanalyser
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Waitrose Open Farm Sunday 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Took part on the BBSRC stand for phenotyping and new technologies at the Waitrose Leckford Farm Open Farm Sunday
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description participant in G20 wheat initiative Nitrogen use efficiency workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participated in a discussion on priorities for funding in the wheat research area nitrogen use efficiency.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017