With climate change, increase in CO2 concentration, temperature, evaporative demand and rainfall variability are projected to impact different crop processes and their interactions. Here, a modelling approach was used to characterise the type of abiotic stresses that wheat crops are currently and will experience in projected climate scenarios across the Australian wheatbelt. Genotype and management adaptations are first proposed in terms of crop maturity type and sowing date to best tune crop development with environmental variability.
An integrated approach is also proposed to guide breeding and adapt wheat varieties. The approach combines insights from crop modelling, physiology, genetics, and breeding to characterize traits valuable for yield gain in the target population of environments, develop relevant high-throughput phenotyping platforms, and identify genetic controls and their value in production environments. This part of the presentation will use transpiration efficiency (biomass produced per unit of water used) as an example of a complex trait of interest to illustrate how the approach can guide modelling, phenotyping, and selection in a breeding programme.
By integrating insights from diverse disciplines, the proposed approach can increase the efficiency for improving yield gains in target populations of environments in current and future climates