Waite Ag, Food & Wine Seminar: Dr Penny Tricker

Penny Tricker

Dr Penny Tricker

Research Fellow in the Wheat Hub, School of Agriculture, Food and Wine

Penny Tricker is a Senior Lecturer in the Genetics and Genomics Group and Research Fellow with the Wheat Hub and School of Ag, Food and Wine. Her research uses both forward and reverse genetic approaches to improve the tolerance of wheat, barley and grapevine to abiotic stresses including drought and heat.

Novel traits and alleles for drought and heat stress tolerance in wheat

Drought and heat stress episodes are increasing in frequency and severity causing significant crop yield losses. Despite this, these stresses have rarely been studied together in wheat, but their combined effect is known to differ from the effect of each stress singly.

In our programme in the ARC ITR Hub for Wheat in a Hot and Dry Climate, we use genetic diversity of wheat to explore the physiology of tolerance to combined drought and heat stress during grain filling and to associate phenotypic traits with genetic markers. We have explored whole plant water use and response to vapour pressure deficit, spike hydraulics and water potential gradients, isolation of spike tissues and the partitioning of water soluble carbohydrates following drought and heat stress as physiological traits for tolerance.

The effects of drought and heat cannot be controlled in rainfed wheat and new, more tolerant varieties are required to mitigate adverse effects on productivity. We also found new quantitative trait loci associated with yield component traits and incorporated beneficial, exotic alleles into novel germplasm that can be used in breeding for drought and heat tolerant wheat.

Tagged in Agricultural science, Agriculture Food and Wine, Research seminar, Waite campus, Plant science