Exploitation of Inter-specific Biodiversity for Wheat Improvement

Lead Research Organisation: John Innes Centre
Department Name: Contracts Office

Abstract

In this programme we propose to undertake research that will exploit wheat/alien hybrids and introgression lines (that are being developed in BBSRC research programme BB/100260X/1) that will lead to the development of superior high yielding Indian wheat varieties that are adapted to climate change and environmentally friendly farming practises. An international crop physiology cluster, i.e. groups based in the UK, Australia and India, will screen four introgression series (the four introgression series will be derived from Aegilops urartu, Ae. speltoides, rye and Thinopyrum bessarabicum, with each introgression series being composed of circa 140 different introgression lines, i.e. 540 plants in total) and 250 new amphidiploids, for genetic variation from introgressed genes for the following traits: tolerance to heat, drought (including water use efficiency), acid and alkaline soils and salt; resistance to disease; increased photosynthetic capacity/biomass production and nitrogen use efficiency. These alien chromosome segments will be directly incorporated into wheat breeding programmes in India at DWR and at the ARI providing they lack deleterious genes which reduce yield potential. If the alien chromosome segments are found to carry deleterious genes then the introgressed segments will be reduced further to remove them. This will be achieved by intercrossing introgression lines which carry overlapping alien chromosome segments where the target alien gene lies within the overlap. The resulting F1 hybrid will be backcrossed to normal wheat and lines with a reduced alien chromosome segment will be identified via SNP analysis.

Publications

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