Stability of wheat grain yields over three field seasons in the UK

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Pennacchi, J., Carmo-Silva, E., Andralojc, P. J., Lawson, T., Allen, M. A., Raines, C. A. and Parry, M. A. J. 2019. Stability of wheat grain yields over three field seasons in the UK. Food and Energy Security. 8 (2), p. e00147.

AuthorsPennacchi, J., Carmo-Silva, E., Andralojc, P. J., Lawson, T., Allen, M. A., Raines, C. A. and Parry, M. A. J.
Abstract

Ensuring food security in a changing climate is a major contemporary challenge and requires development of climate resilient crops that perform well under variable environments. The hypothesis that yield stability in sub-optimal conditions is linked to yield penalties in optimal conditions was investigated in field-grown wheat in the UK. The phenotypic responses, rate of wheat crop development and final grain yield, to varying sowing date, rainfall, air temperature and radiation patterns were studied for a panel of 61 elite commercial wheat cultivars grown in the UK in 2012, 2013 and 2014. Contrasting climatic patterns, particularly rainfall accumulation and distribution over the season, influenced the relative performance of the cultivars affecting the duration of grain development stage and impacting on productivity. Indices for crop productivity, yield stability and performance under sub-optimal conditions revealed four cultivars with a combination of stable and high relative grain yields over the three seasons: Gladiator, Humber, Mercato and Zebedee. Genetic similarity between cultivars partially explained yield performance in the contrasting seasons. The year of release of the cultivars correlated with grain yield but not with yield stability, supporting the contention that breeding for yield potential does not select for climate resilience and yield stability of crops. Further analysis of the outstanding cultivars may unravel target traits for breeding efforts aimed at increasing wheat yield potential and stability in the changing climate.

KeywordsWheat; Crop Yield; Yield Stability; Breeding; Climate change; Crop productivity; Food security; Genetic variation; Grain yield; Heritability; suboptimal conditions; Triticum aestivum
Year of Publication2019
JournalFood and Energy Security
Journal citation8 (2), p. e00147
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1002/fes3.147
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or code[20:20 Wheat] Maximising yield potential of wheat
Designing Future Wheat (DFW) [ISPG]
Manipulation of photosynthetic carbon metabolism in wheat to improve yield
DFW - Designing Future Wheat - Work package 1 (WP1) - Increased efficiency and sustainability
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online18 Aug 2018
Publication process dates
Accepted13 Aug 2018
Copyright licenseCC BY
PublisherWiley
ISSN2048-3694

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