Biotic and Abiotic Stresses

Phenohuntis a PostDoc project funded from the Free Research Council for Dew Kumari Sharma dealing with the physiological mechanism of heat tolerance in Pakistani and Afgan wheat cultivars identified during a previous HeatWheat project in collaboration with Research groups in Aarhus and Copenhagen University.

The PostDoc project in collaboration with physiologists (Eva Rosenqvist, Carl Otto Ottosen) will study further the mechanisms by which these heat tolerant wheat cultivars maintain a high photosynthesis rate at elevated temperatures and further map the underlying genes.

Climate change is expected to have impact on grain yield and quality with contribution and interactions from genetics and environment (G x E). Elevated temperatures decrease grain yield because heat stress cause stomata closure, cellular functions to alter and enzymes to change affinity. In particular, at flowering and during seed development, the plant is sensitive to heat stress, which causes a decrease in seed number and size resulting in yield loss. Elevated temperature causes an increase in evaporation, which is why heat stress and drought stress have considerable overlaps. In contrast, increased CO2 level will in most cases improve plant production, due to increased photosynthesis and reduced stomatal conductance. Carbon dioxide fuels photosynthesis, and although it could have a positive effect on grain yield in C3 plants including barley, it may decrease quality.
(Contact: PhD-student Weiyao Fan). Read more at ClimBar

Common bunt in Wheat
Wheat production is increasing in Europe and other wheat producing areas. The seed borne disease common bunt is a particular challenge for organic seed production because systemic pesticides that is used to control common bunt in conventional agriculture is not permitted in organic farming. Therefor selecting and breeding for resistance to common bunt in wheat has high priority for organic breeding but have been neglected in conventional breeding. As result little is known about the underlying genetic mechanisms, and the number and chromosomal locations of the resistance factors for common bunt resistance in wheat. The resistance factor Bt9 has been mapped on 6D using double haploid (DH) population and search for new resistance genes was also carried out by a genome-wide association study of 248 wheat accessions. (Contact: Søren K. Rasmussen and Anna Maria Trop)