Work Package 1: Phenotypic and genotypic evaluation of a core set of 25 elite winter wheat genotypes originated from Austrian, German and Hungarian collaborators
The aim of this work package is to evaluate promising genotypes from all involved breeding companies across a wide range of natural environments and in environments with controlled water stress. The assessment and comparison of yield components across these environments should give the breeders information about the yield penalty of their breeding material in response to drought/heat.
Work Package 2: Assessment of baking quality parameters
The aim of this work package is to evaluate baking quality parameters from all involved breeding companies across a wide range of natural environments and in environments with controlled water stress.
The assessment of the indirect and direct baking quality parameters and their comparison across these environments should give the breeders information about the quality of their breeding material in response to drought/heat. It will also indicate which traits are responsible for the differences within the European breeding material in response to drought/heat and therefore enable the combination of these different traits.
Work Package 3: Molecular mapping of drought/heat QTL
The majority of morpho-physiological traits associated with drought/heat tolerance of wheat are quantitative rather than qualitative (Blum 1988). The advent of molecular markers enables to dissect such complex traits like drought/heat resistance via analysis of quantitative trait loci (QTL). The identification of drought/heat-related QTLs plays a central role in crop improvement through marker assisted selection (Tuberosa and Salamini 2006). Within work package 3 two doubled haploid winter wheat populations will be used to detect new QTLs associated with tolerance to abiotic stress specific for European winter wheat. In order to develop comparable molecular maps a set of 42 reference SSRs will be used in both mapping populations to allow the development of a consensus map. Furthermore, at PCR based markers will be developed based on allelic variation in candidate genes associated with drought resistance and used to genotype the mapping populations.