The world cropping area for wheat exceeds that of any other crop, and high grain yields in intensive wheat cropping systems are essential for global food security. Breeding has raised yields dramatically in high-input production systems, however selection under optimal growth conditions is widely believed to diminish adaptive capacity of cultivars to less optimal cropping environments.

In this seminar, Kai demonstrates in a large-scale study spanning five decades of wheat breeding progress in Western Europe, where grain yields are among the highest worldwide, that breeding in fact enhanced cultivar performance not only under optimal production conditions, but also in production systems with reduced agrochemical inputs. New cultivars incrementally accumulated genetic variants conferring favourable effects on yield parameters, disease resistance, nutrient use efficiency, photosynthetic efficiency and grain quality. A novel method that uses genome-wide haplotype patterns to predict breeding success for key traits could help optimize future yield potential in sustainable production systems.

Kai Voss-Fels

Centre for Animal Science, QAAFI

Kai obtained his PhD in plant breeding and genetics in Germany in 2016, where he was involved in differinternational wheat, barley and rapeseed research programs. In October 2017 he joined Ben Hayes' group at QAAFI to work on the development of new genomic selection strategies in wheat and sugarcane using large commercial data sets and genetic simulations. Kai is also interested in identifying new genetic factors that underlie abiotic and biotic stress resistance in major crops like wheat and barley to help boost yield stability of future cultivars.

About Science Seminars

Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation hosts science seminars across the disciplines of animal, horticulture, crop, food and nutritional sciences.

With a range of speakers from Australia and abroad, the series explores how high-impact science will significantly improve the competitiveness and sustainability of the tropical and sub-tropical food, fibre and agribusiness sectors.

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The Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation is a research institute at The University of Queensland supported by the Queensland Government via the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.


Level 3 Qld Biosciences Precinct (QBP) Building #80
Large Seminar Room 3.142