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Dernière mise à jour : Mai 2018

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Joint Research Unit 1095 Genetics, Diversity and Ecophysiology of Cereals

Gaëtan Touzy

2019 May - Genetic and ecophysiological analyses of tolerance to drought and high temperature in bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.)

In a context of climate change, the characterization of wheat varieties in response to drought and heat stress events is one of the major challenges of agriculture. This PhD thesis, resulting from a private-public partnership between Arvalis ‘Institut du Végétal’, Biogemma and INRA (“Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique”), aimed at providing necessary knowledge and tools to identify drought or heat-tolerant varieties and breed for varieties that meet these requirements.

Analyses were conducted using a panel of 220 commercial varieties, genotyped with 280K SNP and tested in 35 environments (combination of year, location and water regime) and an experiment under controlled conditions where heat stress was applied during grain filling.

The complexity of the study of drought and heat tolerance led us to present this thesis by first separating hydric and thermal stresses, and then to explore a multi-stress analysis method. Even if breeding has improved the performance of varieties under optimal water conditions, we showed that genetic progress must be accelerated and better distributed according to different stress scenarios. We propose several genetic determinants that could allow genetic gain in stressful environments.

Our results and methods are discussed in view of the needs for varietal recommendation and improvement. Additional research strategies and methods improvements were also suggested.

Keywords : multi-stress analysis, genetic association, genetic progress, water and heat stress