IRTA works towards the development of new high-quality wheat cultivars with resilience to climate change

IRTA works towards the development of new high-quality wheat cultivars with resilience to climate change

The work is based on more than 350 varieties from 24 countries of the Mediterranean basin

The tests are being conducted in Spain and Turkey, using aerial images obtained from thermal and multispectral cameras

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Tuesday, July 3, 2018

As a consequence of the climate change drought conditions are expected to worsen in a near future with warmer temperatures, causing increased crop evapotranspiration, and lower and more erratic water availability affecting the major wheat producing areas, including the Mediterranean Basin.

Researchers from IRTA’s Sustainable Field Crops programme are conducting a project to provide useful tools for the development of the next generation of

wheat cultivars resilient to the increased drought expected in the next decades in the Mediterranean Basin, as consequence of climate change, and with a high quality grain matching the industry requirements.

The study uses both commercial cultivars and Mediterranean landraces. The origin of wheat is estimated around 10.000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent region, spreading to the west of the Mediterranean Basin and reaching the Iberian Peninsula around 7.000 years ago. During this migration process, both natural and human selection occurred resulting in the development of local landraces considered to be very well adapted to the regions where they were grown, and containing the largest genetic diversity within the species. The commercial cultivars corresponded to 184 cultivars developed from several public and private breeding programmes from the Mediterranean basin and international research centres as CIMMYT and ICARDA.

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Remote sensing technology and precision agriculture: thermal and multispectral aerial images

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