Researcher biography

Dr Samir Alahmad is working on durum wheat pre-breeding and genetics. His PhD project, which was supported by Monsanto Beachell-Borlaug International Scholars Program, gained critical insights into the genetic control of root architecture in durum wheat by rapidly constructing a Nested Association Mapping (NAM) population using speed breeding technology and performing large-scale genome-wide association analyses to identify key genomic regions associated with root growth. One of the outstanding outcomes of his research was the identification of a major genetic region which modulates root growth angle had a great implication on yield performance under drought and crown rot environments. The findings of his PhD created the foundation for a postdoctoral research fellowship funded by the ongoing GRDC investments in root research to durum wheat for Australian growers.The GRDC project is focused on development of elite durum wheats with modified root systems (different root ideotypes) targeting different enviromnets. Information on the best root-environment-combination is crucial to defining breeding targets for Australian breeding programs and delivering benefits to growers.