“Nutrient Use Efficiency in Wheat and Prospects for Improvement”

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Tuesday 20 June 2017, 11:00 - 12:30


Crop nutrient and especially nitrogen use efficiency (NUE) is both economically and environmentally a very highly desirable trait. It has been estimated that only a third of nitrogen inputs to cereal crop worldwide are recovered in grain for consumption resulting in a huge waste of resource, with major negative impacts on the environment. Most measures of NUE in wheat and other cereals are based on field assessments of crop yields at given N inputs, performance responses to added N fertilizer or by quantifying N fertilizer recovery rates. However, NUE is a complex trait comprising two key major components, N-uptake and N-utilization efficiency, both also complex traits in themselves, involving many physiological processes and biochemical pathways. A deeper understanding of the processes involved in NUE has been a target of the Wheat Genetic Improvement Network (WGIN) project (http://www.wgin.org.uk/). This has enabled the breakdown of characteristics contributing to NUE and an assessment of the variation present predominantly in modern cultivars; a total of 13 years of data has been obtained to date. Significant but limited variation indicates a requirement for broader germplasm screening of older varieties, landraces and wild relatives (http://www.wheatisp.org ). New approaches for phenotyping key traits in these large germplasm set will be presented.

Location Jozef Schell Seminar Room
Contact Dr Malcolm Hawkesford
Rothamsted Research