A reduced-tillering trait shows small but important yield gains in dryland wheat production
AuthorHoushmandfar, A; Ota, N; O'Leary, GJ; Zheng, B; Chen, Y; Tausz-Posch, S; Fitzgerald, GJ; Richards, R; Rebetzke, GJ; Tausz, M
Source TitleGlobal Change Biology
Agriculture and Food Systems
Document TypeJournal Article
CitationsHoushmandfar, A., Ota, N., O'Leary, G. J., Zheng, B., Chen, Y., Tausz-Posch, S., Fitzgerald, G. J., Richards, R., Rebetzke, G. J. & Tausz, M. (2020). A reduced-tillering trait shows small but important yield gains in dryland wheat production. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY, 26 (7), pp.4056-4067. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.15105.
Access StatusOpen Access
Reducing the number of tillers per plant using a tiller inhibition (tin) gene has been considered as an important trait for wheat production in dryland environments. We used a spatial analysis approach with a daily time-step coupled radiation and transpiration efficiency model to simulate the impact of the reduced-tillering trait on wheat yield under different climate change scenarios across Australia's arable land. Our results show a small but consistent yield advantage of the reduced-tillering trait in the most water-limited environments both under current and likely future conditions. Our climate scenarios show that whilst elevated [CO2 ] (e[CO2 ]) alone might limit the area where the reduced-tillering trait is advantageous, the most likely climate scenario of e[CO2 ] combined with increased temperature and reduced rainfall consistently increased the area where restricted tillering has an advantage. Whilst long-term average yield advantages were small (ranged from 31 to 51 kg ha-1 year-1 ), across large dryland areas the value is large (potential cost-benefits ranged from Australian dollar 23 to 60 MIL/year). It seems therefore worthwhile to further explore this reduced-tillering trait in relation to a range of different environments and climates, because its benefits are likely to grow in future dry environments where wheat is grown around the world.
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