Mengge Zhang

Position: Masters Student
Place of birth: China
Language: Chinese, English
Scholarship: None
Advisors: A/Prof Lee Hickey, Prof Andrew Borrell, Prof Ian Godwin, Dr Samir Alahmad


Research background 
Barley (Hordeum vulgare), a member of the grass family, is one of the major grain crops grown in temperate climates globally. Barley has a short growing season and is also relatively drought tolerant, making it well-suited to Australian production systems. Improved understanding of drought adaptation traits and their underlying genetic controls can help inform plant breeding to develop more productive barley varieties.
My Masters project aims to develop tools to help develop barley cultivars with improved root systems. The first chapter of the research focuses on understanding the genetics of root biomass, root angle and root-to-shoot ratio. The second research chapter investigates the relationships between root biomass and flowering time and yield. Analyses will provide a better understanding of the root traits and how they contribute to yield in the different environments.

– Discover QTL associated with barley root biomass, root angle and root-to-shoot ratio, and determine whether these traits are correlated with one another.
– Determine the relationship between root biomass and flowering time (also other traits such as yield) and investigate the impact of root biomass on yield in different environment types.