Crop production and yield depend largely upon photosynthesis and nutrient acquisition in the face of daily and seasonal environmental fluctuations regarding water, temperature, light, and nutrient supply. In non-cultivated wild plants, e.g. wild barley (Hordeum spontaneum), investing available resources into maintaining reproductive fitness (production of viable seeds or grains) ensures population viability over time, which under limited resources is generally at the expense of yield (i.e. total seed weight per field area).
The strategic challenge for plant breeders is to maximise yield (and quality) under input sustainability restraints while minimising unpredictability and losses due to environmental fluctuations. However, environmental stresses (e.g. water availability, temperature extremes, nitrogen shortage), exacerbated by climate change, are of increasing concern for sustainable crop production.
Plant perception and responses to the external environment are mediated by molecular signaling and physiological circuits underpinned by genetic control networks that interact with plant development, architecture and phenology. The BRACE consortium aims to resolve the components of abiotic stress responses and dynamics and to identify genes and alleles needed for resilience, by using specialised populations of wild and cultivated barley as well as genotypes containing mutated candidate genes for stress resilience.
*At the time of the proposal. Please consider this data as an accurate estimate; it may vary during the project’s lifespan.
Total costs include in kind contribution by grant holders and can therefore be higher than the total requested funding.