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Optimizing the yield of wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.) by engineering the phenology genes for water limited environments

Nazim Ud Dowla, M.A.N., Edwards, I. and Cakir, M. (2013) Optimizing the yield of wheat (Triticum Aestivum L.) by engineering the phenology genes for water limited environments. In: Wheat Breeding Assembly 2013, 17 - 19 July, Brisbane, Australia.


Wheat ( Triticum aestivum L.) is the most widely grown grain crop in Australia and throughout the World, and yield is often limited by environmental stresses like drought. Australia’s wheat crop is grown mainly under rain - fed conditions, and yield losses vary with the timing and intensity of drought. Phenology genes play an important role in adaptation to a particular environment by modifying duration of crop developmental phases, and hence breeders have the opportunity to optimize developmental phases for differing environments by manipulating the allelic composition of the phenology genes. Vernalization ( Vrn ), photoperiod ( Ppd ) and autonomous earliness per se ( Eps ) genes are the components of wheat phenology that interact in the flowering pathway to determine the development and time of maturity of wheat. The aim of this study is to determine the most appropriate allelic combinations of Vrn1 and Ppd genes that would improve yield in water limited environments. In a preliminary study with a double haploid (DH) population segregating for all Vrn1 alleles, we observed nearly a month variation in physiological maturity. The number of dominant alleles pre sent was positively correlated with early flowering and maturity, but seed weight was reduced, possibly due to a reduction in the duration of grain filling. This earliness could be utilized to optimise yield in those environments where terminal drought occurs. Additional research is being undertaken in both glasshouse and field trials with segregating populations for Vrn1 and Ppd genes, to determine the most suitable allelic combinations for changing the duration of pre - and post - flowering growth phases to optimize wheat yield in water limited environments of Western Australian wheat belt

Publication Type: Conference Item
Murdoch Affiliation: School of Veterinary and Life Sciences
Conference Website:
Notes: Poster presentation
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