The Need for a Wheat Hub
Associate Professor Sigrid Heuer and colleagues were successful in securing funding for the Wheat Hub from the Australian Research Council and the Grains Research and Development Corporation allowing the commencement of research in 2015.
The Mission for the Wheat Hub was to enhance productivity and secure high grain quality for wheat in the hot and dry Australian climate. In order to do this, our specific goals were to:
- Develop wheat with combined heat and drought tolerance by advancing existing knowledge and technologies and transferring wheat material and knowhow to breeding programs
- Elucidate mechanisms and molecular markers for combined heat and drought tolerance by exploring genetic diversity in wheat
- Identify mechanisms and genetic diversity for high yielding wheat with efficient nitrogen recycling and high grain protein
- Build human capacity in molecular breeding and provide breeders access to the latest scientific developments and technologies
- Develop and test high-throughput field phenotyping tools for Australian breeders
With the departure of A/Prof. Heuer to Rothamsted Research, A/Prof Delphine Fleury became Director of the Wheat Hub and here she presents some of the background to this very successful collaboration.
Over the past five years the Wheat Hub researchers, including our Partners and PhD students, have made significant progress in their respective areas of research leading to several key highlights. Our most recent Hub Director, Associate Professor Stuart Roy, details these achievements here together with the Hub’s other Program Leaders – Drs Penny Tricker, Ute Baumann, Melissa Garcia, Mamoru Okamoto and Ramesh Raja-Segaran. Our successful teamwork with the University of South Australia (Prof Stan Miklavcic) and University of Sydney (Prof Brent Kaiser) also contributed to these key highlights.
An Industry Perspective
A critical contribution to the Hub’s success came from the collaboration with the three most important wheat breeding companies in Australia – Australian Grain Technologies, InterGrain and LongReach Plant Breeders. Members of the Hub worked together with several researchers from each of these companies and the results were extremely positive, as you’ll hear from our three Partner Investigators – Drs Tristan Coram, Daniel Mullan and Bertus Jacobs.