Standing strong: Maximizing yield potential by optimizing stem strength and biomass partitioning

  • Term: Four years, beginning in 2016

  • Funding Amount: $338,867

  • Lead Researcher(s): Allan Feurtado (NRC)

  • Funding Partners: Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture - Agriculture Development Fund (ADF), Manitoba Wheat and Barley Growers Association (MWBGA), Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development (MAFRD)

Project Description

This project integrates with current breeding efforts in Saskatchewan focused on increasing the genetic yield potential of wheat (among other priorities such as disease resistance which focus on yield and quality protection).

Yield increases relate directly to producers since it increases farm income. With this in mind, the mandate of Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan for increasing crop production by 10 million tonnes and export-value of agri-food products to $15 billion by 2020 is clearly bolstered by this research. The researchers propose new and innovative phenotyping approaches coupled with state-of-the-art molecular and genomic techniques to provide breeders with the molecular marker-based tools needed to advance and accelerate breeding productivity and outcomes.

Functional markers developed through this research will be applicable to overall wheat productivity, since standability and biomass allocations are directly related to yield, but, as discussed above, are also applicable to productivity under heat and water stress. This research will also further CWA objectives by providing genetic resources to Canadian breeding programs with relevance towards “improving the yield, production, sustainability and profitability of Canadian wheat”.

By associating standability and HI, in three differing environments, this project will provide breeders in the prairies with preferred trait markers to advance current germplasm development. By accelerating the genetic gains of AAFC and U of S breeding programs, this research will contribute to the goal of establishing Saskatchewan and the Canadian prairies as leaders in cereal crop R&D to ultimately provide producers with greater farm income as varietal productivity per acre increases.