Tuesday, April 3, 2018 - 11:00
Old Seminar Room James Hutton Institute Errol Road, Invergowrie, DD2 5DA
Dr Sarah McKim
Dr Wilma van Esse Wageningen
University & Research, Amsterdam
Abstract- Changing plant architecture to improve crop yield
Cereal crops such as wheat, rye and barley are important for food and feed supply. Crop yield in temperate cereals depends on the number of seed per seed head (spike), number of side shoots (tillers), and the seed weight. Improvement of crop yield is limited by negative correlations between these yield components, and these correlations are hard to break using conventional breeding methods. Optimizing the balance between the growth of vegetative (shoots) and generative (seeds) organs is an effective strategy to increase cereal crop yield. At present, breeding strategies that focus on fine tuning this balance as means to improve yield are limited due to a lack of knowledge on the factors that control the development of the harvested organs. Therefore, a thorough fundamental understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms is essential to develop novel breeding strategies for yield improvement. The overall aim of my research is to identify and characterize the genes that affect seed weight as well as seed and tiller number in barley, an emerging model system for temperate cereals.