Nearly 60 world-renowned scientists and wheat experts gathered at El Batán during 10-13 November 2009 for the intensive workshop “Complementary strategies to raise wheat yield potential.” The event was divided into four main topics: imperatives for raising wheat yield potential; improving crop photosynthesis; optimizing adaption, yield, and lodging resistance; and combining complementary traits through breeding. The ultimate aim is to get new, high-yielding wheat varieties to farmers as quickly as possible.
“This consortium is hugely valuable because we bring together expertise from very different areas and direct it toward one goal: improving wheat yield potential,” says Xinguang Zhu, and workshop participant and principal investigator from the Chinese Academy of Sciences. “By working on things together, we greatly improve our chance of realizing this goal.”
The week was also an opportunity to further establish a consortium that will continue collaboration to improve wheat yields, says Matthew Reynolds, wheat physiologist and initiator of the consortium. A fullyfunctional consortium will require an estimated USD 25-30 million for five years.