Achieving yield gains in wheat (pages 1799–1823)
MATTHEW REYNOLDS, JOHN FOULKES, ROBERT FURBANK, SIMON GRIFFITHS, JULIE KING, ERIK MURCHIE, MARTIN PARRY and GUSTAVO SLAFER
Article first published online: 20 AUG 2012 | DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-3040.2012.02588.x
Wheat provides 20% of the calories to the world's population so the future productivity of wheat will arguably have more influence on global food security than that of any other crop. The Wheat Yield Consortium brings expertise in photosynthesis, crop adaptation, and genetics to a common breeding platform thereby focusing research on combining the traits most likely to show impact in an agronomic context. Theory suggest RUE of wheat could be increased ∼50% using a combination of transgenic and non transgenic approaches, but to maximize yield expression will also require dynamic optimization of source: sink so that dry matter partitioning to reproductive structures is not at the cost of physiological and structural integrity of the crop canopy. A range of conventional and innovative breeding approaches are described, as well as the need for complementary work in crop management and networking to ensure that the benefits of new cultivars are maximized.