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Substantial increase in yield predicted by wheat ideotypes for Europe under future climate

Nimai Senapati*, Simon Griffiths, Malcolm Hawkesford, Peter R. Shewry, Mikhail A. Semenov

*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: A substantial increase in food production is needed for global food security. Europe is the largest wheat producer delivering 35% wheat globally, but its future genetic yield potential is yet unknown. We estimated genetic yield potential of wheat in Europe under 2050-climate by designing in silico wheat ideotypes based on genetic variation in wheat germplasm. To evaluate importance of heat and drought stresses around flowering, a critical stage in wheat development, sensitive and tolerant ideotypes were designed. Ideotype yields ranged from 9-17 t ha-1 across major wheat growing regions in Europe under 2050-climate. Both ideotypes showed a substantial increase in yield of 66-89% compared to current local cultivars under future climate. Key traits for wheat improvements under future climate were identified. Ideotype design is a powerful tool for estimating crop genetic yield potential in target environment, along with the potential to accelerate breeding by providing target traits for improvements.