This is a multi-national, multi university project, including CIMMYT in Mexico. Greater than 85-90% of the energy captured by plants is used in ‘futile cycles’ and high-cost cellular processes, such as transport of nutrients and respiration, meaning only 10-15% is allocated to yield. Small gains in energy redistribution and use have the potential for marked positive impacts in biomass accumulation and yield. Improvements in energy-use efficiency (EUE) can be achieved at the cell, tissue and whole-plant levels, with respiration being a prime target for such gains.
Possible techniques: crop physiology, genotyping and wheat genetics, large scale biology and bioinformatics, computational modeling of energy use efficiency.
These projects are funded by the Grains Research Development Corporation, with their applied goals working towards the strategic aims of the Australian wheat industry. Within each project are options for fundamental science.