Physiological phenotyping based hunt for stress tolerance genes in wheat – understanding the photosynthetic efficiency under heat stress (PHENOHUNT)

In the light of global climate change, heat stress and other abiotic stresses are increasingly becoming an important determinant of future food security. We need to understand how our crops will perform in these changing climatic conditions and how we can develop tolerant varieties.

With advancements in plant phenotyping and non-invasive sensor technology many important plant eco-physiological and agronomical traits can be phenotyped to identify naturally existing phenotypic variations. Such identified phenotypic variants can be used to hunt for genes (QTLs) affecting the measured trait. This was the central topic of my PhD study and I focused on understanding heat tolerance in wheat via “Photosynthesis” because it is a key physiological process affected by heat stress. It was possible to use the chlorophyll fluorescence parameter Fv/Fm (the maximum photochemical efficiency of photosystem II (PSII)) as a phenotyping tool to measure heat stress damage.

The aim of the project is to improve understanding of the physiological and genetic basis of three newly identified Quantitative Trait Loci (QTLs/genes) related to heat tolerance (from my PhD study) identified among naturally existing genetic variation for photosynthesis in wheat cultivars based on chlorophyll fluorescence as a phenotyping tool. Further aim is to evaluate how useful these QTLs are in improving photosynthetic efficiency in the genetic background of Nordic wheat cultivars.

Project Information

Project period

15.04.2014 to 14.04.2017
Project Type Independent Postdoc Grant, February 2014

The Danish Council for Independent Research | Technology and Production Sciences

Project amount

3.440.370 kr.
Project owner
Dr. Dew Kumari Sharma
Section of Plant and Soil Science: Plant Breeding - breeding technologies group, Section for Crop Sciences - Plant Phenomics group
Mentors Prof. Dr. Sven Bode Andersen (PLEN, KU), Associate Prof. Dr. Eva Rosenqvist (PLEN, KU),  Associate Prof. Dr. Carl Otto Ottosen (Dept. of Food Science, Aarhus University)
Host for an external scientific visit Prof. Dr. Monika Schreiner, Leibniz-Institute of Vegetable and Ornamental Crops Großbeeren/Erfurt e.V. (IGZ)