WHEAt and barley Legacy for Breeding Improvement

WHEALBI NEWSLETTER
june 2015 - Issue 1

About the Whealbi Project

The Whealbi project, started beginning of 2014, stems from the strong conviction that to improve wheat and barley production in order to face severe global changes, we need to better exploit knowledge from basic science to develop new varieties and innovative cropping systems.

WHEALBI will combine genomics, genetics, statistics and agronomy to improve European wheat and barley production in competitive and sustainable cropping systems. It will generate original data from expressed genome sequences of 1000 wheat and barley genetic resources and provide models and tools to integrate these data in breeding programmes and crop management.

The results will be disseminated to a broad user community, highlighting the benefits and issues associated with the adoption of what is considered sustainable and environmentally friendly wheat and barley crop production in a European context.

Stay tuned!

A website explaining the goals and presenting the project results is available:

» WHEALBI.EU

The WHEALBI project will deliver many outputs to different stakeholders

To the plant breeding community

  • A list of candidate genes and alleles involved in key traits such as grain quality, frost and drought tolerance and resistance against fungal diseases;
  • A list of genes exhibiting signatures of selection and estimates of allelic effects, as potential candidates for marker assisted selection;
  • Pre-breeding pipelines to integrate new useful variation into applied breeding programmes, including those from old varieties and wild relatives;
  • Prediction equations of genome estimates of breeding value (GEBV) for key adaptive traits;
  • A list of ideotypes suited for innovative sustainable cropping systems, with reduced environmental impact, useful for setting new breeding goals.

To the scientific community

  • A “legacy” of genotyping-by-sequencing data of a “thousand genome” set of diverse accessions of wheat and barley;
  • A huge dataset of evaluation data of key-adaptive traits of the 1000 accessions in a wide range of environments across Europe;
  • Guidelines and protocols for Next Generation Valorisation and Utilisation of PGRFA collections;
  • Phenotypic data of a selected subset of wheat and barley accessions from high throughput/precision phenotyping for canopy development, drought tolerance and disease response;

To the plant breeding community

  • A list of candidate genes and alleles involved in key traits such as grain quality, frost and drought tolerance and resistance against fungal diseases;
  • A list of genes exhibiting signatures of selection and estimates of allelic effects, as potential candidates for marker assisted selection;
  • Pre-breeding pipelines to integrate new useful variation into applied breeding programmes, including those from old varieties and wild relatives;
  • Prediction equations of genome estimates of breeding value (GEBV) for key adaptive traits;
  • A list of ideotypes suited for innovative sustainable cropping systems, with reduced environmental impact, useful for setting new breeding goals.

WHEALBI by the numbers

Research and innovation (2014 -2019)

From the European Union under the FP7 programme for research and development

European research area partners

Martonvasar Centre, near Budapest, hosted Whealbi's first annual meeting

The first annual meeting was hosted by the Centre for Agricultural Research of Martonvasar (Hungary) from the 20 to the 22nd of May 2015.


» Read more

News from the european union : new opportunities in horizon 2020 for agricultural research and innovation

Apart from the call for proposals released every two years in the new Framework program Horizon 2020 (open calls can be found here), an European Innovation Partnership for Agricultural productivity and Sustainability (EIP-AGRI) was launched by the European Commission in 2012.

The goal is to foster a competitive and sustainable agriculture and forestry sector that “achieves more from less“. It contributes to ensuring a steady supply of food, feed and biomaterials, and to the sustainable management of the essential natural resources on which farming and forestry depend, working in harmony with the environment. To achieve this aim, the EIP-AGRI brings together innovation actors (farmers, advisors, researchers, businesses, NGOs, etc) and helps to build bridges between research and practice.

One EIP focus group is dealing with genetic diversity, topic closely related to WHEALBI.

» Read more

Focus on companion projects

Other national or European projects share close thematics to WHEALBI.

The news are:

  • Healthy Minor Cereals : this European project, issued from the same European topic than WHEALBI is dedicated to the minor cereals spelt, rye, oat, einkorn and emmer. The project is ending its second year. The second year newsletter with the last results is available on the website
  • The French project BREEDWHEAT aims at strengthening the competitiveness of the French wheat breeding sector as well as to address the societal demand for sustainability, quality, and safety in agricultural production. It organises the First International Wheat Innovation Workshop the 16 and 17th of November 2015 in Clermont-Ferrand (France).
  • The European project DROPS about Drought Tolerant Yielding Plants (with models on wheat and maize) is finishing, and organising with Eucarpia a final conference in Montpellier the 8th and 9th of June 2015. The conference is at the crossroad of plant and crop physiology, genetics and breeding. It aims at presenting an accurate view on recent advances in the mechanisms associated with plant response to water deficit, on these mechanisms phenotyping, on their genetic variability and on the modelling of relevant allelic effects on plant behaviour under changing climates.

This project has received funding from the European Union's Seventh Framework Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant agreement n°FP7-613556

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