Blake Russell, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN
The efficiency by which plants uptake the existing nitrogen in the environment and utilize it to the harvestable part of the plants is referred to as nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). Improving NUE can help growers to obtain higher yields with less overall inputs and decrease environmental contamination resulting from excessive N input. NUE is the capacity of a cultivar to use the applied N and utilize it into grains and/or biomass, whichever is the harvestable part of the plants. NUE can be further characterized by N uptake (NUpE) and N utilization (NUtE) efficiency. NUE can be expressed in multiple ways such as grain yield per N supplied. NUpE is total biological harvestable N per unit N supplied. NUtE is the grain yield per total N taken up from the environment. Growing a panel of Purdue-bred soft red winter wheat germplasm, contrasting in yield potential, under two contrasting N availability scenarios will be completed to characterize NUE traits. Examining each component of NUE will be used to determine which trait(s) are contributing most to NUE and yield performance. Accordingly, the traits that, in the current setting, derive yield and performance under two N levels will be characterized. Prospect parents for crosses will be identified. Yield components and NUE traits will be analyzed to determine the effects and relationship of uptake, utilization, and remobilization of nitrogen with GN and KW. The goal of this study is to identify the complementary traits to improve a cultivar’s NUE. Future development in analyzing traits contributing to NUE can lead to progression in developing advanced breeding lines with greater utilization of nitrogen for grain yield.