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RobuCrop - Robust wheat for the future

Applications are invited for a PhD fellowship/scholarship at Graduate School of Science and Technology, Aarhus University, Denmark, within the Food Science programme. The position is available from 1 November 2018 or later. 

Title:

RobuCrop - Robust wheat for the future



Research area and project description:

The PhD is funded by iClimate and FOOD and is linked to research projects on effects of global change on physiological adaptation of wheat. The project will be conducted in close collaboration between AU, Dept. of Food Science, and Dept. of Agroecology as well as external research partners.


Background:

The climate of the future is expected to be more extreme and more variable as the duration, frequency and intensity of climate extremes are projected to increase with climate change. A better understanding of the interactions between crop productivity under different environmental conditions and management regimes is crucial to maintain sustainable agriculture and food security by providing knowledge for stakeholders concerning future more robust cultivars. More knowledge of the processes responsible for acclimation and adaptation of crops thereby assuring yield stability and crop quality is required to provide breeders and farmers with more robust crops irrespective of climate variability.

Aim

To date, phenotyping studies have resulted in better understanding the complex interactions between genotype, environment and management (GxExM) for crop yield and quality. However, they have not been applied to study the effect of the interaction of (a)biotic stress events and of stress types. Therefore, we aim to explore existing Nordic wheat varieties for the ability to cope with combinations of heat and drought stress applied at different growth stages. The aim is to develop effective phenotyping methods for a range of robust varieties under Danish climate conditions and to find genotypes that have less yield loss under a future more variable climate.

Work plan

Wheat genotypes from Nordic breeders and existing wheat populations (RIL population based on heat tolerance and heat sensitivity genotypes) will be collected in collaboration and the Levy funded project “Future wheat”.

We will utilize the complementary competencies and equipment of FOOD and AGRO departments. The experiments will be conducted in state of art climate chambers and greenhouses with modern phenotyping equipment – potentially with international partners. This will include short-term screening studies of growth reactions and responses to photosynthesis to stress applied at different stages of development to long-term trials under semi-field conditions to evaluate the effect on yield and quality.

Outcome

The results will indicate the existing cultivars potential to cope with different stress combinations. The adapted and developed phenotyping methods will be applied to more Nordic wheat varieties and will be of great benefit to breeders and in the long run the Danish agriculture.

For more info:

http://talent.au.dk/phd/scienceandtechnology/opencalls/calls-on-specific-projects/august-2018/robucrop-robust-wheat-for-the-future/

 

Location: 
Årslev, Aarhus University, DK
Deadline: 
01/08/2018

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