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Università di Parma (2018)

Studying durum wheat genetic diversity : a molecular approach to identify new alleles for drought resilience

Buffagni, Valentina

Titre : Studying durum wheat genetic diversity : a molecular approach to identify new alleles for drought resilience

Auteur : Buffagni, Valentina

Université de soutenance : Università di Parma .

Grade : Ph.D in Biotechnology and Life Sciences 2018

Objectif
Wheat is one of the most important staple crops, of which durum wheat accounts for 5% of the total production, but still it represents a major local commodity in many countries of the Mediterranean area. Indeed the second producer worldwide is represented by Italy, for which durum wheat accounts for the 65% of the total wheat production. Wheat growth and yield can be severely affected by DS at any developmental stage, and despite advances in our understanding about drought response in plants, many aspects of the molecular and physiological mechanism involved in drought tolerance remain unknown in wheat. Moreover, the massive genetic improvement of the last century of this crop, lead to the high-yield varieties typically cropped for the main cultivation of wheat, with narrowed genetic basis. This situation is worsened by the upcoming climate change that is forecast to reduce the wheat yield in the upcoming years. In this contest, the identification of durum wheat genotypes with increased adaptability to drought is mandatory to address the ongoing challenges for both researchers and breeders.

The overall objective of this work is the identification of new target genes potentially involved in drought response in durum wheat, and to exploit the natural variation occurring in the genetic resources to identify new durum wheat genotypes ready for these challenges. Intermediate goals of this thesis project can be summarized in the following principal pillars : ● The isolation and the characterization of new targets involved in the drought tolerance along different growing stages of the life-cycle of durum wheat ; ● The characterization at molecular and transcriptional level of these genes, in particular regarding their role in the drought defence response ; ● The identification of mutations in target genes in a durum wheat TILLING populations exploitable for functional genomic studies to dissect the role of these targets in the drought response in durum wheat ; ● The identification of natural allele variants within genetic resources of durum wheat to be introduced in wheat breeding programs

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Page publiée le 26 avril 2021