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Increasing cereal yield potential through reduced floret abortion

The number of grains produced by a cereal contributes significantly to yield. Grain number is determined largely by the number of fertile florets that form on an inflorescence. In wheat, florets develop in spikelets, which each produce 8-10 floret primordia. However, many primordia abort during development such that only 2-4 florets survive to form grain. Reduced abortion of floret primordia provides an opportunity to improve fertility, and recent studies have identified genes underlying variation for floret survival that offer ways to increase yield.

Here, we will identify and generate variation for several genes that influence floret abortion in wheat and investigate its potential to improve fertility in Australian-adapted cultivars. We will interrogate diverse germplasm collections to identify variant alleles of floret fertility genes, and we will generate novel variation using gene-editing techniques. Near-isogenic lines will be developed to evaluate and rank each gene for their ability to improve floret fertility, and to investigate the underlying biological processes that improve survival. Gene-specific marker information, germplasm, and phenotypic data will be delivered to breeders to facilitate allele selection and their adoption in breeding programs.

Project date

15 Aug 2022-28 Feb 2027

Research organisations

Project funded by

Multiple industries
Alternative protein Cereal grains Other rural industries Pulse grains

Grains Research and Development Corporation (GRDC)

GRDC's purpose is to invest in RD&E to create enduring profitability for Australian growers. We invest in projects and …
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  • Organisation type

    Research funding body



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