student profile: Mrs Maria Francisca Ruz Ruiz


Thesis work

Thesis title: Characterising the Albedo as a Canopy Energy Balance Trait for Heat Tolerance in Wheat

Supervisors: Helen BRAMLEY , Jose JIMENEZ BERNI, Thomas SCHAEFER, Thomas BUCKLEY

Thesis abstract:

Heat stress affects wheat in different ways depending on the climate. The high temperature damage can result in a yield decrease when heat events occur during critical stages, such as reproductive phase or grain filling. Understanding the mechanisms occurring in plants when they are subjected to high temperatures will help to identify plant traits conferring heat stress tolerance. This goal can be achieved by characterizing the canopy energy balance (CEB) and evaluating the impact of its components regarding heat tolerance. In this research, contrasting wheat genotypes for heat tolerance will be planted in three different sowing dates at three locations in Australia. The CEB can be evaluated using physics models. To determine and validate these models, several variables in the canopy will be studied and monitored along with the environment and their interactions with the wheat genotypes and sowing dates.�br /� As a fundamental trait affecting the CEB, the albedo will be studied at leaf and canopy level. In the first case, the characterisation of the albedo will consist on the identification and study of the wax deposits and its chemical and light scattering properties. In the second case, many traits will contribute to the canopy albedo along with the wax deposits, such as leaf angle, canopy structure and canopy micrometeorological conditions.�br /� Furthermore, this research aims to overcome the technological challenge of measuring/evaluating energy balance related traits and environmental variables by developing faster and more affordable protocols and by the efficient use of technologies already available. The data gathered and traits identified will be implemented in Crop Simulation Models. In this way, models will consider heat tolerance related traits in order to evaluate yield and phenology of the genotypes and also to define ideotypes based on trait values to help identifying new strategies in future breeding programs.

Note: This profile is for a student at the University of Sydney. Views presented here are not necessarily those of the University.