Lopes, M.S.; Rebetzke, G.J.; Reynolds, M.P.
Identifying markers for physiological traits of proven value in breeding, especially ones that are consistent across environments with different patterns of stress, strengthens the toolkit to increase confidence in the value and delivery from physiological breeding. To identify markers relevant to drought adaptation, this review will highlight the importance of development and implementation of robust and repeatable phenotyping that is relevant to the different target drought types, and practical examples of managed environment facilities in Australia and Mexico are given. These facilities can be used as models to: (i) improve reliability and consistency of environments and genetic responses to the environment at a global scale; (ii) improve the capacity to deliver quantitative trait loci (QTLs) as user-friendly markers for enriching populations; and (iii) illustrate the use of populations with a narrow range of variation for phenology allowing the identification of QTLs for drought-adaptive traits. However, the importance of further optimizing phenology and plant height at a global scale is highlighted. Finally, the impact of physiological trait-based crossing is demonstrated and supports the need for urgent development of robust genetic markers.
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