As part of the International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) we are one of the research projects funded as part of the BBSRC strategic priority in agriculture and global food security, to bring together public and private research organisations worldwide.
It is predicted that hybrid wheat could lead to yield increases of between 3.5% and 15%. Hybrid wheat production requires that a female plant is pollinated by a genetically different male parent. However, since wheat is an in-breeder it does not have the correct floral morphology required for out-breeding. Furthermore, it is debatable that the required genetic variation for the traits required for out-breeding are available in modern day wheat.
In this project we will identify genetic variation for both male and female floral morphology required for out-breeding and hence hybrid wheat production. This will be achieved by analysis of key target traits in the wild relatives of wheat with particular emphasis on out-breeding species (developed at Nottingham in the BBSRC WISP/DFW programme).
A range of screening procedures will be exploited in combination with genetic markers and molecular cytogenetic techniques. The research undertaken will lead to the identification of genes/wild relative introgressions that control target floral traits that will be incorporated into elite varieties that will facilitate hybrid wheat production.
This International Wheat Yield Partnership project runs from November 2018 to November 2021 with Dr. Manel Othmeni (Research Fellow) and Jack Walker (Research Technician). The project lead is Professor Julie King with Principle Investigators Professor Ian King, Dr. Stella Edwards, Dr. Surbhi Grewal, with Dr. Bhoja Raj Basnet and Dr. Masahiro Kishii from CIMMYT and the private partners below.