Strategic research areas

Strategic research areas

The Canadian Wheat Alliance's primary research areas and their impacts for the Canadian wheat industry are described below:

Genomics Assisted Breeding

Genomics Assisted Breeding

Improve genomic resources to speed up gene discovery, novel trait identification and validation, and marker assisted breeding 

  • Speedier gene discovery, mapping and trait introgression 
  • High throughput genotyping platforms to enhance gene deployment and selection efficiency in breeding programs 
  • Identification and validation of next generation DNA markers and discovery of genes for improved expression of high-priority traits
  • User-friendly bioinformatic resources to integrate and query genealogical, phenotypic, and genotypic information

Wheat Improvement

Wheat Improvement 

Deliver efficient low cost cell technologies that accelerate the development of superior wheat cultivars

  • Enhanced genetic tools will accelerate superior wheat cultivar development
  • Resource savings by combining economically important traits with elite commercial cultivars
  • Reduction in breeding timeframe of up to three to four years through doubled haploid methodology

Disease Tolerance

Tolerance to Disease

Characterize genes, proteins and metabolites involved in microbial pathogen resistance, and develop tools for accelerated breeding of durable resistance against Fusarium and rust

  • Rapid deployment of diverse and effective resistance genes and identification of desired lines

Abiotic Stress 

Abiotic Stress Tolerance

Improve drought, heat and cold tolerance of wheat

  • The project will lead to molecular tools for water usage efficiency in spring wheat and cold tolerance in winter wheat

Seed Yield 

Improved Seed Yield

Target developmental pathways to improve seed yield and crop performance genetic improvement of productivity in wheat

  • Gene based technologies for improving seed yield and performance
  • Knowledge of the role of parental gene expression as it relates to wheat yield
  • Strategies to enhance photosynthetic efficiency to improve wheat yield

Biotic Interactions

Beneficial Biotic Interactions

Improve nutrient-use efficiency and plant health through understanding and managing relationships between beneficial microorganisms and wheat

  • Low-input wheat
  • Healthy productive soils 
  • Improved wheat disease management tools