Ground Cover Supplement : GC Supplement - Wheat pre-breeding
7 GROUNDCOVER Issue 127 | March – April 2017 | GRDC GROUNDCOVERTM SUPPLEMENT: WHEAT PRE-BREEDING WEED CONTROL without stunting coleoptile growth. Once several years’ trial data has been collected, researchers will be able to confir m those most suited to the respective growing regions from a collection of 12 such genes. The weed-competitiveness trait (along with the new dwarfing gene) was then crossed into elite commercial varieties that were selected in consultation with national breeding companies. These varieties represent the best available germplasm for yield, grain quality and disease resistance. The seven varieties are: MaceA, EGA GregoryA, EstocA, EspadaA, CosmickA, MagentaA and LongReach ScoutA. With repeated crossing back to the commercial variety, it was possible to reconstitute much of the genetics of the elite variety, but add the new weed-competitive trait and alternative dwarfing gene. Thousands of lines are processed through field trials in this pre-breeding work. The extensive testing is structured to collect data about this new ger mplasm that breeders need if they are to incorporate the new genetics into their breeding programs. Among the information collected are data relating to agronomic practices, such as optimal row spacing or seeding and nutrient rates in contrasting environments. Rainout shelters at the GRDC’s Managed Environment Facilities also make it possible to assess the new ger mplasm under water- limited and non-limited conditions. Grain quality attributes – including grain protein, grain screenings, test The project will also develop a non-destructive imaging system that allows breeders to easily screen and detect the weed-competitive trait during breeding cycles. This imaging system works through software that can distinguish wheat from weed biomass, allowing estimates of the relative growth of both weeds and wheat. This new ‘phenotyping’ technology can be used to screen hundreds of plots rapidly, including automatically through the use of automated drone technology. o GRDC Research Code CSP00182 More information: Greg Rebetzke, 02 6246 5153, firstname.lastname@example.org FAST FACT n Weeds cost Australian growers an estimated $80 to $100 per hectare per year – a cumulative spend of up to $4 billion nationally. New, high vigour wheat germplasm (right) developed by CSIRO was tested for its ability to reduce seed set by weeds compared with low vigour wheat (left). High vigour wheat (right) and low vigour counterparts growing side-by-side in weed control trials undertaken by CSIRO. SOURCE: DR GURJEET GILL, UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE FIGURE 1 New wheat lines (W320605, W390403 and W470201) are able to outcompete weeds and reduce weed seed-set compared with commercial wheat varieties GladiusA, Longreach ScoutA and WyalkatchemA. 400 plants/m2 200 plants/m2 Weed seeds produced/m2 35,000 30,000 25,000 20,000 15,000 10,000 5000 0 GladiusA WCD2-320605 WCD2-470201 WyalkatchemA WCD2-390403 Longreach ScoutA weight and milling yield – are also being tested to understand the influence of selection for weed-competitiveness in 20 advanced lines from each of the region-specific elite backgrounds. In addition, glasshouse studies are being undertaken to examine the impact of root growth and mor phology on the plants’ ability to outcompete weeds. The project aims to deliver to breeders six elite lines adapted to the northern, southern and western growing regions that contain the weed- competitive trait by December 2018. Included in the handover package are molecular markers to select for the alternative dwarfing genes.
GC Supplement - Statistics for Australian Grains
GC Supplement - Weeds