Wheat is the most commercially important crop in the UK with a farm gate value of over £2 billion, to which the UK Wheat research community has made significant contributions. The Designing Future Wheat (DFW) programme therefore aims to build on current research strength and investment to deliver new knowledge around a range of key topics, and to develop novel wheat germplasm characterised for the next generation of key traits.

A key focus of DFW is to make the resources developed available to the wider community, and to ensure that maximum impact is derived from the research investment, engendering a productive and sustainable wheat supply chain. Much of the research outlined may be considered close to the start of the value chain. However, our outreach strategy outlined in Figure 1, will ensure impact is achieved throughout the whole value chain as it is designed to maximise output flow and to efficiently incorporate feedback from downstream stakeholders. A dedicated Advisory Board, with membership from key stakeholders from the farming, breeding, processing and food retail sectors, has been been appointed to advise and monitor delivery from the DFW programme.  

Figure 1. The role of DFW in the wheat value chain.

Blue arrows denote the flow of genetically improved wheat seed and grain. Green arrows show DFW interactions throughout the value chain that help to achieve this.

A key output of DFW is the development and Joint evaluation of Toolkits

DFW will produce premium germplasm and marker toolkits (described in WP3) validated for breeding approach applications. Private sector breeders will help undertake evaluation of these resources. To increase uptake of these resources, information will be made freely available online, and no licences or royalties sought by DFW for the commercial use of the novel toolkits.