NUE in Wheat

The objectives of the research on NUE in wheat were:

  1. To investigate the genetic control of Nitrogen use in wheat
  2. To identify appropriate breeding targets for the European markets, specifically:
    1. Can genotypes be developed to yield well at all nitrogen levels or
    2. Is NUE best improved by breeding for higher yield at current input levels?
Winter wheat trials were set up in in Dundee, Scotland, Cambridge, UK (Fig. 1) and Seligenstadt, Germany testing 170 wheat varieties under three controlled levels of artificial nitrogen input.  Analysis showed that the interaction of genotype with fertiliser treatment was small in comparison to the genotype interactions with site and season (Fig. 2).  This suggests that the lines that deliver a high yield at the high input level are generally the most successful at lower nitrogen input levels.  

Wheat trial in Cambridge

Fig. 1 Nitrogen rate wheat trial in Cambridge

wheat response

Fig. 2 Yield versus entry rank for 170 varieties of wheat tested at three levels of N input

Association mapping analysis identified 285 potential QTL ‘clusters’.  Each of these was identified as a significant association of ordered markers with one or more traits.  Of these, 18 targets of very high fidelity have been prioritised for follow-up work including potential gene candidate identification.
More extensive field trials using a limited selection of genotypes under varying management regimes were conducted in the UK, Switzerland and China. 

The following publications have been produced on the work done in SP1:

Bonte A, Neuweger H, Goesmann A, Thonar C, Mader P, Langenkamper G, Niehaus K (2014) Metabolite profiling on wheat grain to enable a distinction of samples from organic and conventional farming systems. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture:1097

Gu L, Liu T, Zhao J, Dong S, Liu P, Zhang J, Zhao BQ (2014) Nitrate leaching of winter wheat grown in lysimeters as affected by fertilizers and irrigation on the North China Plain. Journal of Integrative Agriculture

Hildermann I, Messmer M, Dubois D, Boller T, Wiemken A, Mader P (2010) Nutrient use efficiency and arbuscular mycorrhizal root colonisation of winter wheat cultivars in different farming systems of the DOK long-term trial. Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture 90:2027-2038

Sun W, Zhao BQ (2013) Effects of nitrogen fertilizer types and input rates on winter wheat quality. Journal of Plant Nutrition and Fertilizer Science 19 (6):1297-1311

Tetard-Jones C, Gatehouse AMR, Cooper J, Leifert C, Rushton S (2014) Modelling Pathways to Rubisco Degradation: A Structural Equation Network Modelling Approach. PLoS ONE 9 (2). doi:doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0087597

Tétard-Jones C, Shotton PN, Rempelos L, Cooper J, Eyre M, Orr CH, Gatehouse AMR (2012) Quantitative proteomics to study the response of wheat to contrasting fertilisation regimes. Mol Breed 31 (2):379-393