Establishing a value proposition for future traits in a climate-changing world

Greg Rebetzke1, Kathryn Bechaz2, Michelle Murfit3, Gina Bange4, Tina Rathjen1, Fernanda Dreccer5, Warren Muller6, Andrew Fletcher7, Bangyou Zheng5, Enli Wang1, Zhigan Zhao1, Neil Fettell8

1 CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Black Mountain Science and Innovation Park, Canberra ACT, 2601,

2 NSWDPI, Yanco Agricultural Institute, Yanco NSW 2703

3 DPIRD, Merredin WA 6415

4 Uni Sydney, PBI Narrabri NSW 2390

5 CSIRO Agriculture and Food, QBP, St Lucia QLD, 4067

6 CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra ACT 2601

7 CSIRO Agriculture and Food, Centre for Environment and Life Sciences, PMB 5, Wembley, WA 6913

8 Central West Farming Systems, 1 Fifield Rd Condobolin, NSW 2877


Increasing climate variability is as great a concern as increasing air temperatures forecast with climate change. The challenge for breeders is in identifying and selecting traits that are genetically correlated with environments into the future and/or difficult to manage away from their breeding nurseries. We report on studies targeting constitutively-expressed traits (e.g. increased rates of spike and grain-filling and increased coleoptile length) to establish their value proposition for increasing grain yield in future environments. The work supports the potential for higher rates of grain-filling and longer coleoptiles as traits where genetics are available now in pre-emptive selection in breeding programs. Further, there is not expected to be any cost associated with these traits in grain yield or quality, or in cooler, wetter seasons.


The Australian Society of Agronomy is the professional body for agronomists in Australia. It has approximately 500 active members drawn from government, universities, research organisations and the private sector.

Photo Credits

David Marland Photography Graham Centre for Agricultural Innovation, Charles Sturt University

Conference Managers

Please contact the team at Conference Design with any questions regarding the conference.

© 2015 - 2019 Conference Design Pty Ltd