SEEKING BREAKTHROUGH DISCOVERIES THAT WILL LEAD TO LARGE INCREASES IN WHEAT GRAIN YIELDS

The International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) is initiating its first competitive funding call by inviting creative, forward-looking proposals that seek to discover approaches to substantially increase the genetic yield potential of wheat, as defined by grain yield under the absence of stress. It is anticipated that wheat yield potential can be enhanced by:

  • Increasing carbon capture before flowering
  • Optimizing plant architecture; modifying flowering time
  • Increasing biomass
  • Optimizing harvest index

These are the specific areas of research that are being sought and those that concentrate on plant stresses or agronomic systems will be considered out of scope.  The proposed research should be based on Triticeae germplasm, but if not, the prospective breakthroughs must be directly relevant to wheat.

With this initiative IWYP is seeking breakthroughs in genetic yield potential beyond what is expected to occur in ongoing breeding programs. Therefore, new or different approaches and/or novel techniques are envisaged. Research outputs should be defined in terms of specifically timed milestones and quantifiable deliverables. Proposals where outputs are only descriptions of plant processes will be considered out of scope.

The selection process will be two-stage whereby applicants must first submit a pre-proposal due by 15 March 2015. Proposals that do not closely adhere to the instructions, formats and timelines will not be considered. The pre-proposals must be academic led and can be from single institutions, although national or international consortia are strongly encouraged. Applications involving private industry collaborators are also encouraged. Funding requests can range from 1 to 3 years but should not exceed a maximum cash and in-kind request of $2 Million over 3 years. Full-proposals will be invited from selected pre-proposals. Proposals will be judged by their scientific excellence, breakthrough potential and relevance to markedly improving the genetic yield potential of wheat.

The successful proposals will be integrated into a holistic IWYP Program led by the Program Director in liaison with a Scientific Leadership Committee which will include selected Project Leaders from funded projects. Discoveries made in the Program will be further characterized, validated and developed in advanced wheat lines for rapid deployment in breeding programs.

The International Wheat Yield Partnership (IWYP) is a major public/private initiative being supported by research funders, international agencies, national and international research organizations and industry partners.  Its goal is to increase wheat yields globally in both developed and developing countries. IWYP is led by a Program Director, an international Board of funders, scientific experts and members from commercial breeding companies.