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Open AccessArticle

The Performance of Early-Generation Perennial Winter Cereals at 21 Sites across Four Continents

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NSW Department of Primary Industries, Wagga Wagga Agricultural Institute, PMB, Wagga Wagga, NSW 2650, Australia
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The Land Institute, 2440 E. Water Well Rd., Salina, KS 67401, USA
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NSW Department of Primary Industries, Cowra Research and Advisory Station, Binni Creek Rd., Cowra, NSW 2795, Australia
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Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota, 1991 Upper Buford Cir, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
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Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Lethbridge Research and Development Centre, 5403 1st Avenue South, Lethbridge, AB T1J 4B1, Canada
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CREA Research Centre for Engineering and Agro-Food Processing, Via Manziana, 30, 00189 Rome, Italy
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CSIRO Agriculture and Food, PO Box 102, Toowoomba, QLD 4350, Australia
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Department of Plant Science, Room 222 Agriculture, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2, Canada
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International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT), P.O. Box 39 Emek, Ankara 06511, Turkey
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Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (Western Australia), 3 Baron-Hay Court, South Perth, WA 6151, Australia
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Agriculture Botany Division, National Agriculture Research Institute, Nepal Agricultural Research Council, Khumaltar, Lalitpur 44700, Nepal
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Department of Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, 1201 W. Gregory Dr., Urbana, IL 61801, USA
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Department of Plant Biology, Uppsala BioCenter, Linnean Centre for Plant Biology in Uppsala, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, SE-75007 Uppsala, Sweden
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School of Agriculture and Food Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, QLD 4072, Australia
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Omsk State Agrarian University Named after P.A. Stolypin, 1 Institutskaya Square, 644008 Omsk, Russia
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Research Institute of Plant Industry, VIR, Botanika, Kibray District, Tashkent Region 111202, Uzbekistan
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1124; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041124
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 2 April 2018 / Accepted: 3 April 2018 / Published: 9 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Strategies, Advances and Challenges of Breeding Perennial Grain Crops)
A network of 21 experiments was established across nine countries on four continents and spanning both hemispheres, to evaluate the relative performance of early generation perennial cereal material derived from wheat, rye, and barley and to inform future breeding strategies. The experimental lines were grown in replicated single rows, and first year production and phenology characteristics as well as yield and persistence for up to three years were monitored. The study showed that the existing experimental material is all relatively short-lived (≤3 years), with environments that are milder in summer and winter generally conferring greater longevity. No pedigree was superior across this diverse network of sites although better performing lines at the higher latitude sites were generally derived from Thinopyrum intermedium. By contrast, at lower latitudes the superior lines were generally derived from Th. ponticum and Th. elongatum parentage. The study observed a poor relationship between year 1 performance and productivity in later years, highlighting the need for perennial cereal material with greater longevity to underpin future experimental evaluation, and the importance for breeding programs to emphasize post-year 1 performance in their selections. Hybrid lines derived from the tetraploid durum wheat generally showed greater longevity than derivatives of hexaploid wheat, highlighting potential for greater use of Triticum turgidum in perennial wheat breeding. We advocate a model in future breeding initiatives that develops perennial cereal genotypes for specific target environments rather than a generic product for one global market. These products may include a diversity of cultivars derived from locally adapted annual and perennial parents. In this scenario the breeding program may have access to only a limited range of adapted perennial grass parents. In other situations, such as at very high latitude environments, perennial crops derived from barley or rye may have a better chance of success than those derived from wheat. In either case, development and selection of the perennial parent for adaptation to local environments would seem fundamental to success. View Full-Text
Keywords: wheat; barley; rye; Kernza; wheatgrass wheat; barley; rye; Kernza; wheatgrass
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Hayes, R.C.; Wang, S.; Newell, M.T.; Turner, K.; Larsen, J.; Gazza, L.; Anderson, J.A.; Bell, L.W.; Cattani, D.J.; Frels, K.; Galassi, E.; Morgounov, A.I.; Revell, C.K.; Thapa, D.B.; Sacks, E.J.; Sameri, M.; Wade, L.J.; Westerbergh, A.; Shamanin, V.; Amanov, A.; Li, G.D. The Performance of Early-Generation Perennial Winter Cereals at 21 Sites across Four Continents. Sustainability 2018, 10, 1124.

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