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Using existing experimental data, the Sirius wheat model was refined by incorporating the effects of extreme temperature during flowering and grain filling on accelerated leaf senescence, grain number, and grain weight. This allowed us, for the first time, to quantify yield losses resulting from heat stress under climate change. The model was used to optimize wheat ideotypes for CMIP5-based climate scenarios for 2050 at six sites in Europe with diverse climates. The yield potential for heat-tolerant ideotypes can be substantially increased in the future (e.g. by 80% at Seville, 100% at Debrecen) compared with the current cultivars by selecting an optimal combination of wheat traits, e.g. optimal phenology and extended duration of grain filling. However, at two sites, Seville and Debrecen, the grain yields of heat-sensitive ideotypes were substantially lower (by 54% and 16%) and more variable compared with heat-tolerant ideotypes, because the extended grain filling required for the increased yield potential was in conflict with episodes of high temperature during flowering and grain filling. Despite much earlier flowering at these sites, the risk of heat stress affecting yields of heat-sensitive ideotypes remained high. Therefore, heat tolerance in wheat is likely to become a key trait for increased yield potential and yield stability in southern Europe in the future.

Origen: Oxford Journals

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