Sequencing plant genomes has become easier and cheaper but it’s still hard to predict how changes to the genotype of a plant will play out across the entire phenotype, not just in the short term but over seasons, years and, indeed, over evolutionary history.
We will develop mathematical tools to model the myriad connections between a plant’s genetic networks and its observable traits.
Building on this genotype–phenotype model, we will create software tools that enable breeders to predict with greater certainty the probability of breeding success, without their needing to understand how the plant works.
The tools will allow breeders to explore the likely effects of changes to multiple genes at a time on the whole phenotype, over time, and in different environments.
For plant breeding, this is a game-changer. Instead of searching for success by trial and error, one gene at a time, breeders will be able to explore complex scenarios with the confidence that, under the hood, all of the plant’s functions, and their complex interactions, are represented—resulting in breeding decisions that have much higher probabilities of success than ever before possible.
Not only will this accelerate the breeding process—it will transform the breeding industry.
Genetic and mechanistic networks
- Integration of physiology and development of traits underpinning plant success
- Land plant genetic network innovations
- Connecting plant water relations phenotype to whole plant success – Bryophytes
- Connecting plant water relations phenotype to whole plant success
- Domestication underground – exploring how modification of plant hormone signalling, including during plant breeding, influences beneficial plant-microbe symbiosis
- Evolution and function of molecular networks that control potential and water allocation in plant growth
- Impacts of crop domestication on water management