100-day wheats for adaptation to a changing Australian climate

Timothy Green, J. Sergio Moroni, Greg J. Rebetzke, Felicity Harris, Daniel Mullan, Jim Pratley

Research output: Other contribution to conferencePresentation only

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Climate change is a threat to the Australian wheat industry. The combined effects of declining autumn rainfall, increasing temperatures and CO2 levels, and more severe and unpredictable frost risk sets a future challenge for Australian grain growers. Farming systems need to continue to evolve and adapt to climate change, as well as production risks such as herbicide resistance, pest and disease threats, as well as declining soil fertility. It has been proposed that a ‘100-day’ wheat ideotype, able to be sown later than current commercial wheat varieties in mid-winter, would provide southern Australian growers with an alternative management option. This ideotype would require early vigour under cool temperatures, quick development, and yield potential equivalent to, or greater than current elite varieties. A variety developed based on this ideotype would mitigate the need for the autumn break by being sown later in the season (mid-winter), into seedbed moisture, while reducing the risk of exposure to pests and diseases often associated with longer-season wheats. Mid-winter sowing would also provide more time for targeted weed management prior to sowing, in addition to expanding the opportunities for double cropping. The aim of this PhD research project is to identify the plant traits or characteristics which define the “100-day wheat” ideotype. A preliminary field experiment was conducted in 2021 at Wagga Wagga, evaluating 96 Australian and international wheat lines for early biomass, flowering time, grain yield, and harvest index across two sowing dates (7 June and 12 July). Lines used in this experiment were all purportedly fast maturing but had not been selected for yield potential. We measured significant differences in time to flowering, biomass at stem elongation, flowering date, and yield amongst the lines. Some of the lines had equivalent and greater yield to elite commercial lines indicating that there is germplasm available which could be adapted for this purpose. Future research will focus on early growth under low temperatures, as experienced during winter sowing, in particular the interactions of flowering genes on early vigour.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2022
EventWheat Breeding Assembly 2022: Horizon wheat - The Crossing Theatre, Narrabri, Australia
Duration: 28 Aug 202231 Aug 2022
https://az659834.vo.msecnd.net/eventsairaueprod/production-eventstudio-public/8963ee7fa8b64bd1b5b338fbb3406e43 (Program)


ConferenceWheat Breeding Assembly 2022
OtherWheat Breeding Assembly, Australia’s wheat breeding forum, brings together breeders, researchers and other industry stakeholders to build a stronger, more resilient and profitable Australian wheat industry. WBA2022 will be held 28 - 31 August at The Crossing Theatre, Narrabri.

This is the event where Australia’s wheat breeders get together with each other and with researchers, students, growers, agronomists, end users and policymakers to challenge the following:

- What future wheat varieties need to meet the challenges of future environments, cropping systems, markets and products?

- What innovations in breeding practice will accelerate variety development and increase genetic gain?

- What new science and technology can be harnessed to boost progress in wheat breeding?

The WBA2022 program will be industry led as authors are invited through a call for abstracts to outline the latest research and innovations that are progressing the industry to meet future demands. The WBA2022 program will address critical issues around innovation, technology and markets and their impact on grains, gains and profits.
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