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Improving wheat yields in dispersive soils


Examine how wheat yield can be improved by increasing tolerance to different soil constraints

Dispersive soils reduce wheat yields on 68 % of cropping land in Australia. These soils often comprise highly alkaline subsoils (pH > 9) and many other constraints including high salinity, high aluminium, waterlogging and high soil strength.

A current GRDC-funded project is aiming to improve the yield of wheat in dispersive soils by pyramiding tolerance to one or more of these soil constraints into elite wheat varieties. We have a range of projects involving the following research areas: plant phenotyping, plant nutrition, plant genetics, soil science and farming systems that can be tailored to your interests.

You will develop skills in:

  • Plant phenotyping
  • Soil chemical analysis
  • Greenhouse, growth chamber and/or field trials
  • Molecular biology, genotyping and/or gene expression, molecular markers
  • Experimental design and data analysis

Key References:

McDonald, G. K., Taylor, J. D., Verbyla, A., and Kuchel, H. (2013): Assessing the importance of subsoil constraints to yield of wheat and its implications for yield improvement. Crop and Pasture Science 63, 1043-1065.


Associate Professor Glenn McDonald

Tagged in Honours projects - Agricultural science, Honours projects - Rhiannon Schilling, Honours projects - Glenn McDonald, Honours projects - Soil science, Honours projects - Plant science

STEM Careers Night: On-campus and online

Whether you're still at high school or planning to join us mid-year, taking a break from study or rethinking your career path, come chat with us at our STEM Careers Night.

You and your parents are invited to join us on campus on Tuesday 18 May 2021 to see what’s available in the world of STEM.

STEM Careers Night