We obtain 20% of our calories and protein from wheat and urgent action is needed to sustainably increase global wheat production.
However, we have limited knowledge of the genes controlling wheat yield, which hampers our efforts to advance towards this goal.
The Uauy lab is using innovative sequencing-based approaches to exploit novel sources of induced genetic variation in spike yield components to increase the genetic yield potential of wheat.
They are also testing if this potential is realised in elite wheat varieties.
Understanding the genes controlling different yield components will allow the lab to combine and exploit variation across all three homoeologous genomes, overcoming the perennial problem of functional redundancy observed in polyploid wheat.