SolACE Innovation: Participatory breeding schemes (durum wheat)

As part of the SolACE project, we conduct experiments in order to better monitor heterogeneous populations of durum wheat for their use in participatory breeding.

First, we are studying a set of 96 micro evolutionary units under two contrasted and controlled environments, in which we will follow the evolution of traits such as plant height, earliness and spike traits as well as quality traits. After three generations we will verify that the chromosomal regions identified for above and below grounds traits in the other work package 4 tasks are really those implied in the adaptation of the evolutionary units.

Second, we launched a participatory breeding action in three countries: Hungary, Italy and France. A very diverse population has been sent for seed amplification to get a sufficient amount of seeds to launch a participatory breeding network using organic farming practices. Each farmer (from 4 to 5 in each country) will grow plots of 1000 m², in which they will be invited to breed according to different practices: spike or seed sorting, discussion about the traits of interest. In SolACE we will exchange and co-construct our participatory breeding practices. We will focus on the assets provided by the diversity within each population to allow adaptation and stress mitigations.

A the end, we would like to know how farmers can get used to such original material to promote changes in their durum wheat populations, and if they can find some advantages to breed for some local and specific uses and practices. These populations will also be monitored for their evolution in allelic frequencies of chromosomal regions identified for some traits on individual genotypes in other work packages.
At the end, both the farmers and the SolACE project will own the seeds.