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Enhancement of CIMMYT wheat breeding strategy for drought tolerance and genotypes of relevance to rainfed areas of Australia

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The pre-breeding component will involve physiological characterization of elite germplasm from Australia and CIMMYT as well as genetic resources (synthetic & landraces) to design better targeted crosses... In accordance with recent recommendations (Australian Winter Cereals Workshop- Breeding for Better Performance Under Drought, ANU, 5-6 Sept 2007) work will focus on (i) traits that are unconstrained by yield penalties in wetter years; (ii) drought response under a range of 'water balances'; (iii) identifying germplasm with the ability to extract subsoil water; and, (iv) phenotyping in realistic environments... The first wave of physiological crosses (crosses based on physiological parameters) made at the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and targeted to drought gave twice as many superior yielding lines under drought than the crosses based solely on yield information...
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