Investment Details


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GRDC Code: UOA2007-003RTX
The development of an accurate, high throughput, affordable and relevant screen for LMA risk for the Australian wheat industry

This project aims at the development of an accurate, high throughput, affordable and relevant screen for Late Maturity alpha-Amylase (LMA) risk in the Australian wheat industry. Falling number is a global industry standard used to quantify detrimental pre-harvest sprouting, as early release from seed dormancy leads to significant effects on end-product quality. However, low falling number can also be caused by the LMA trait, susceptibility to which is currently an Australian milling wheat classification criterion.

The current screen for LMA susceptibility is time consuming and costly thereby causing a major bottleneck in the release of new wheat varieties. In this project, we will build on and improve the current LMA screening procedure to increase throughput and accuracy and to reduce cost. The current screen requires the tagging of individual spikes at anthesis and removal of the spikes post anthesis for a cool shock treatment to induce LMA expression.

This requires a significant amount of labour and poses the risk of confounding factors based on the maturity type of lines and environmental conditions. Our strategy is to focus on:

  1. determining the necessity for the cool shock treatment through testing continuous low-temperature growth conditions before and after anthesis;
  2. reducing variability in growth conditions and shortening the growing cycle to minimise the time window of anthesis between the lines; and
  3. growing the same lines in field trials across Australia and duplicate seasons to correlate the LMA expression in the controlled environment with low falling number in the field.

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The University of Adelaide
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