SPICY - Smart tools for Prediction and Improvement of Crop Yield

The aim of the Smart tools for Prediction (and) Improvement of Crop Yield project is to develop a suite of tools based on molecular breeding to help breeders in predicting phenotypic response of genotypes for complex traits like yield under a range of environmental conditions.

The project particularly focuses on developing tools for predicting phenotypic performance (growth, yield) of a genotype by means of an integrated gene-to-phenotype model, thereby reducing the effort of phenotyping new genotypes. This will be achieved by extending a crop growth model with a separation between species specific and genotype (variety, line) specific parameters and the development of smart tools for integrating QTL analysis with crop growth models. In addition, gene expression studies will try to identify genes within the QTL while imaging and fluorescence tools will be developed for fast and automated large scale phenotyping.