Improving wheat photosynthesis through wide crossing with wild relatives and selection using novel environments

Lead Research Organisation: University of Nottingham
Department Name: Sch of Biosciences


Wheat yield gains are currently insufficient to meet the demands of the future thus posing a risk to global food security. In order to increase yields it is necessary to improve photosynthesis, as this is the primary determinant of biomass. The ability to select for improved photosynthesis within modern bread wheat cultivars is constrained by genetic 'bottlenecks' which occurred following domestication. To increase genetic diversity it may be possible to exploit wild relative germplasm, of particular interest are the genus' Aegilops and Triticum, which exhibit variable photosynthetic traits. In this work, double haploid lines of bread wheat containing introgressions from Aegilops mutica and Triticum urartu are to be screened using a variety of novel environmental conditions including sub-ambient CO2 . The photosynthetic , photoprotective and photorespiratory properties will be evaluated using a variety of techniques including chlorophyll fluorescence, gas exchanging and leaf biochemistry.


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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M008770/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
2169085 Studentship BB/M008770/1 01/10/2017 23/11/2021 Laura Jane Briers
Description Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMT) 
Organisation International Centre for Maize and Wheat Improvement (CIMMYT)
Country Mexico 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution CIMMYT provide scientific expertise and field trial facilities for wheat research. It operates as a scientific collaboration on some projects and a sub contract for field trials on others. We work with Prof Matthew Reynolds and Dr GEmma Molero.
Collaborator Contribution Scientific expertise and projects funded by UKRI on wheat photosynthesis and wheat physiology.
Impact Outcomes expected in 2020.
Start Year 2015
Description This is an ICase studentship with the industrial partner BASF. A three month placement will be completed in 2021 in Ghent, Belgium. 
Organisation BASF
Country Germany 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution A placement will be completed in 2021 at BASF in Ghent, Belgium.
Collaborator Contribution The partners have provided financial support for this project, which has contributed to the cost of growing space and resources required to complete experimental work at the University of Nottingham. During a planned three month placement at BASF in 2021, accommodation and research facilities will be provided and paid for by BASF. Throughout the project experimental design , ideas and data analysis have been discussed in meetings with two supervisors at BASF, to come to an agreement on the progression of the project.
Impact Outcomes not available at this point.
Start Year 2017
Description Learning Leader Program 2020 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact Accepted onto the learning leader program for 2020 which runs between The Univeristy of Nottingham and local primary schools. I will be running five sessions in June 2020, which will cover the following topics: The importance of wheat, Role of photosynthesis, How do plants take up water and use light energy, The hidden parts of a leaf - an introduction to stomata.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020