The International Wheat Yield Partnership aims to make major improvements to wheat yields globally by exploring increases in biomass and photosynthesis. Two projects underpinning this research are currently underway at ANU in collaboration with research groups at collaborators at CIMMYT in Mexico and in the UK:
- Researchers at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Translational Photosynthesis are mapping phenomics data on wheat to genomic sequence data to find the genes underpinning photosynthetic variation, whilst
- Scientists at the ARC Centre of Excellence for Plant Energy Biology are carrying out similar experiments to explore how efficiently plants use the carbon fixed in photosynthesis to produce yield.
An exciting new project to link the two research projects above is currently facilitated at the Australian Plant Phenomics Facility. The project examines the links between photosynthesis, growth rate and respiration rate in a set of wheat lines chosen for variation in their photosynthetic properties.
These lines are first being grown in field plots of the Field Cropatron* to be scanned for hyperspectral reflectance, digital growth analysis with Phenomobile Lite and respiratory efficiency, measured in a unique high throughput respirometer.
The same lines will be grown in controlled environment chambers and scanned in the same way but using PlantScan. These data will inform the researchers how early in development they can measure these traits and whether controlled environment ranking of the 25 lines of wheat can be robustly extrapolated to the field.
*Check it out: Time-lapse video of the irrigation set-up in the Field Cropatron.