Physiological basis of yield potential

Description of the topic

Although wheat is the most widely grown of any crop globally, the gains in breeding programs have slowed down relative to the future demand. In an effort to increase wheat yield, CIMMYT has stablished a series of research programs aiming to understand the physiological basis of increasing yield potential through the identification of desirable physiological traits, including traits that confer climate resistance and increased grain quality. Although outstanding results have been achieved through these programs over the years, wheat yield trends show that more research is still needed as future demand is expected to increase up to 60% by 2050. To begin with, the approaches based on physiological understanding of wheat yield potential need to be further explored. Therefore, primary research on breeding wheat for increased yield potential, quality and climate resistance will be conducted in order to contribute to the understanding of the physiological and genetic basis that promote higher yield and biomass production in wheat.


  • Contribute to the current understanding of constraints to wheat yield potential.
  • Conduct research on breeding wheat for increased yield potential and quality, and climate resilience.
  • Identify phenotypic traits that contribute to higher yield potential.


  • Contribute to the ongoing collaborative research focused on releasing new improved wheat varieties.
  • Conduct field based studies in wheat to collect high quality phenotypic data for different projects.
  • Collect and analyze genetic and phenotypic data to understand the genetic and physiological basis of complex traits in wheat.   
  • Participate in pre-breeding activities under yield potential, drought, and heat stress conditions.
  • Get gain hands-on experience in breeding wheat with increased yield potential, climate resistance and grain quality.
  • Collaborate and work with a team of scientists on wheat physiology, pre-breeding, and remote sensing.
  • Attend regular wheat physiology meetings.
  • Publish in high impact peer-reviewed journals.


  • Field research will be conducted in the experimental station of CIMMYT situated in Yaqui Valley, Sonora (North-west region of Mexico), during a 4-month period per year comprised between January and May.