Thesis: Genetic analysis of herbicide tolerance in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)
Weeds are a major external factor causing serious yield and quality reduction in broad acre wheat production. Metribuzin, a triazinone herbicide inhibiting photosystem II, is registered in Western Australia for pre-emergent and early post-emergent use for few tolerant genotypes like EGA Eagle Rock, kite, and Blade and it incurs crop damage in majority of cultivars. This scenario warrants the investigation of genetic diversity in large population in search of better tolerant source. The major objectives of this research project are (1) to develop rapid screening technique to assess genetic variability in large wheat germplasm to identify better source of metribuzin tolerance (2) identify major QTLs responsible for metribuzin tolerance (3) develop near isogenic lines (NIL) for transcriptomic and proteomic analyses of genes responsible for metribuzin tolerance (4) fine mapping of NIL-derived population for molecular marker development and gene cloning.
Why my research is important
Wheat (Triticum spp.) is an important crop worldwide, supplying more than 35% of human food. Weed infestation by broad-leaf and grassy weeds cause significant yield reduction up to 50% in Wheat. In many situations, weed eradication is economically more important than insects, fungi or other pest organisms. Broad-spectrum herbicides kill a wide range of weeds along with valuable crops. One approach to improving weed management and protecting domesticated crops is to breed metribuzin tolerant wheat. This study aims to understand the genetics, heritability and mechanism of metribuzin tolerance to develop metribuzin tolerant crops which facilitate removal of weeds in a single application while keeping crops safe.