19 March 2016

The product: 'Drysdale' wheat

'Drysdale' is a wheat variety whose superior water-use efficiency means that it yields at least 10 per cent more under dry conditions than ordinary wheat.

The developer: CSIRO

'Drysdale' is the product of decades of pioneering research by the CSIRO.

A research team headed by Dr Richard Richards worked with the Australian National University throughout the 1980s to identify a selection method based on plant respiration to improve water-use efficiency in wheat-breeding programs. The method was a world first and, when applied to a cross of two high-quality and disease-resistant wheat varieties, produced 'Drysdale'.

Richard says: 'It provides proof that physiologically based breeding can contribute to advances in agriculture and demonstrates that an investment in fundamental biology can contribute to improved crop varieties globally.'

The research team's work has paved the way for a range of collaborative research agreements under which industry bodies co-invest in research and development.

The value of PBR

Richard says the ability to improve water-use efficiency in specialty wheat adds significant value to crops and requires safeguards to protect the IP. This can be achieved through PBR, which protect commercial rights to a registered variety.



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