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Transferring a Biomass Enhancement Biotechnology from Glasshouse to Field: A Case Study on Wheat GWD RNAi

CSIRO Food Futures National Research Flagship, GPO Box 1600, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
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Agronomy 2017, 7(4), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/agronomy7040082
Received: 27 October 2017 / Revised: 4 December 2017 / Accepted: 6 December 2017 / Published: 8 December 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Starch Biosynthesis in Crop Plants)
In glasshouse studies we have previously shown that endosperm-specific RNAi suppression of the primary starch phosphorylation enzyme, Glucan, Water Dikinase (GWD) leads to enhanced early vigor, greater leaf biomass, and increases in both head size and yield. To confirm these affects in a field setting, trials were conducted in three Australian environments. Field results were consistent with those in the glasshouse for increased flag leaf area and rachis nodes. However, there was also a decrease in tiller number and consequently a decrease in yield for one event at two sites. These findings provide potentially important information on plant vigor enhancement and highlight the challenges of transferring the modification of complex traits from single plants in controlled environments to the field. View Full-Text
Keywords: field trial; biomass; wheat; GWD; starch; phosphate; head architecture field trial; biomass; wheat; GWD; starch; phosphate; head architecture
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Whan, A.P.; Verbyla, A.P.; Mieog, J.C.; Howitt, C.A.; Ral, J.-P. Transferring a Biomass Enhancement Biotechnology from Glasshouse to Field: A Case Study on Wheat GWD RNAi. Agronomy 2017, 7, 82.

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