There is increasing pressure on agriculture to be resilient to climate change and sustainable in use of resources. Despite high water use efficiency, potatoes are considered inefficient in acquiring water and nutrients and often require irrigation and inputs of fertilizers. This is potentially because they are considered to have a sparse and relatively ineffective rooting system. This project will use a unique diploid hybrid breeding population of potatoes (Solynta) to understand the genetic control and physiology of the potato root system. To take full advantage of the potential benefits of hybrid true potato seeds, which enables direct sowing or seedling-based transplanting, there is a need for (young) plants to be resilient for abiotic stresses caused by variable environments.
The project will have three main objectives with experimentation to; 1) elucidate the underlying physiology of the potato rooting system, 2) screen for genotypic variability in any identified traits for enhanced resource capture and 3) test the performance of genotypes with greatly differing rooting phenotypes in simulated future stress environments.
Deadline January 2024
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