Nitrogen Fixation in Triticale and Wheat

  • Term: 3 years, beginning in 2017

  • Funding Amount: $ 86,250

  • Lead Researcher(s): François Eudes (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada)

  • Funding Partners: Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC)

Project Description

This project aims to generate Nitrogen fixing wheat plants that will be developed from engineered triticale plants containing mitochondrial genome enriched with nitrogen fixation (nif) genes. This research builds on the recently developed AAFC nif cluster, optimized for expression in triticale/wheat mitochondria.

Nitrogen availability is limiting to crop growth and has been overcome through synthetic N fertilizer application. The scientific community believes a new revolution aiming at crops that fix their own N from atmospheric N2 is possible. As triticale and wheat share the same cytoplasm, triticale is proposed as bridging tool for wheat. New crops will be tested for the presence of the nif cluster, gene expression, N2 fixation, and performance in N deficient soil.

The engineered wheat crop is expected to have all the features of the wheat parent enriched by the N2 biological fixation ability resulting in higher yield and better performance in N deficient soil.