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Drought is the main abiotic constraint on cereal yield. Analysing physiological determinants of yield responses to water may help in breeding for higher yield and stability under drought conditions. The traits to select (either for stress escape, avoidance or tolerance) and the framework where breeding for drought stress is addressed will depend on the(More)
A substantial increase in grain yield potential is required, along with better use of water and fertilizer, to ensure food security and environmental protection in future decades. For improvements in photosynthetic capacity to result in additional wheat yield, extra assimilates must be partitioned to developing spikes and grains and/or potential grain(More)
Wheat provides 20% of calories and protein consumed by humans. Recent genetic gains are <1% per annum (p.a.), insufficient to meet future demand. The Wheat Yield Consortium brings expertise in photosynthesis, crop adaptation and genetics to a common breeding platform. Theory suggest radiation use efficiency (RUE) of wheat could be increased ~50%; strategies(More)
Wheat yield depends on the number of grains per square metre, which in turn is related to the number of fertile florets at anthesis. The dynamics of floret generation/degeneration were studied in contrasting conditions of nitrogen (N) and water availability of modern, well-adapted, durum wheats in order to understand further the bases for grain number(More)
Further improvements to wheat yield potential will be essential to meet future food demand. As yield is related to the number of fertile florets and grains, an understanding of the basis of their generation is instrumental to raising yield. Based on (i) a strong positive association between the number of fertile florets or grains and spike dry weight at(More)
Survival of floret primordia initiated seems critical for the determination of grain number and yield in wheat, and understanding what determines floret mortality would help in the development of more robust physiological models of yield determination. The growth of the juvenile spikes has been frequently considered the determinant of grain number, implying(More)
Recent advances in crop research have the potential to accelerate genetic gains in wheat, especially if co-ordinated with a breeding perspective. For example, improving photosynthesis by exploiting natural variation in Rubisco's catalytic rate or adopting C(4) metabolism could raise the baseline for yield potential by 50% or more. However, spike fertility(More)
In Mediterranean durum wheat production, nitrogen (N) fertilization may be important to stabilize and increase yields. Wheat yield responses to N fertilization are usually related to grains per m(2), which in turn is the consequence of processes related to floret development (floret initiation followed by floret death/survival) during stem elongation. The(More)