Breaking the nexus: more biomass in cereal grain (2014–2017)
Grain yield is controlled by complex, regulated genetic networks or quantitative trait loci (QTLs) derived from natural variations in many crop plants. Yield is a product of the three major parameters: panicle number, grain number and grain size, trade-offs are commonly observed between grain number and size. There is evidence to suggest it is possible to improve grain size without altering overall biomass. With the genomic and genetic resource tools at hand, we will elucidate the genetic architecture of grain size, and manipulate the key loci to generate more biomass in the grain, minimizing or eliminating the adverse impact on seed number. This will maximise harvestible yield without imposing increased demand for water and nutrients.