More crop per drop: development of water-efficient and drought tolerant sugarcane cultivars for irrigated and dryland farming
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Water limitation is a major production constraint for sugarcane in Australia. Despite its economic importance, there has been little effort in breeding for water stress (drought) tolerance and water use efficiency (WUE) in sugarcane. This was mainly due to the lack of easy-to-use selection trait for WUE and drought tolerance in sugarcane. This project, building on the findings of its predecessor BSS305, aims i) to understand the genetic association between water use efficiency traits and cane yield, ii) to establish trait modelling capacity for developing varieties with improved yield, WUE and drought tolerance, iii) to identify clones that perform well under different water availability conditions for further trait-yield relationship studies and iv) to develop a selection system for breeding more productive and broadly-adapted varieties.