Cataloguing botanical, genetic and agronomic features of the Turkish bread wheat landrace core collection

Description of the topic

The proposed project will build on the IWWIP Turkish LRACE-CORE collection and CIMMYT-Mexico genotyping to create a comprehensive description of the material. This will include cataloguing and curating all of the existing information about the core set of bread wheat landraces including collection data, botanical descriptions and agronomic evaluation. Following this, higher density genetic information will be overlaid for use in association mapping and trait dissection. A preliminary agronomic evaluation identified a number of genotypes resistant to abiotic and biotic stresses, and this will be extended through additional testing (in Turkey) in order to further investigate their genetic basis. Pre-breeding strategies will also be employed to transfer favorable landrace alleles to elite IWWIP and British winter and spring breeding lines to facilitate their use in breeding. This will require the application of quantitative genetic approaches, including genomic selection to devise optimal strategies for exploiting landrace diversity for breeding.

Work expectations

Agronomic evaluation of the core set of bread wheat landraces in representative Turkish environments over two years. The evaluation will be conducted using conventional and new physiological tools in Konya, a major rainfed region of winter wheat production under moisture stress. Disease resistance will be evaluated in the country’s hot spots.

Genotyping the core set using high density, high-throughput genotyping approaches for analyzing genetic diversity. We will use the 35K Affymetrix Axiom SNP chip for high-throughput genotyping of the core set. We expect the student to also evaluate the core set with gene-diagnostic KASP markers related to traits evaluated under task 1.

Association mapping for important agronomic traits using phenotypic and genetic data to identify marker-trait associations.

Required skills

Breeding/agronomy background.