In bread wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), flowering time and plant stature are important phenological and agronomic traits for adaptation, yield potential, and yield stability. Timely flowering is critical for production, and the flowering window has to be late enough to avoid early season frosts but early enough to avoid late season stresses such as heat and terminal drought. Flowering time is controlled mainly by vernalization, photoperiod response, and earliness per se genes, which can be exploited to fine‐tune growth and tailor flowering time for the production of desirable wheat cultivars. Tailoring flowering time could help reduce preharvest sprouting problems by escaping high temperatures and late season rainfall, which promote preharvest sprouting, hence yield loss. Concisely summarizing available information on flowering time and identifying research gaps could provide direction for future research. This chapter, therefore, discusses: (i) the progress made in discovering genes involved and the impact of their extensive allelic variation on flowering time, (ii) the potential benefits of tailoring wheat's flowering time to improve yield, and (iii) the benefits of introgressing genes for other complimentary traits, such as semidwarf and preharvest sprouting resistance on advanced lines to achieve higher yield, thus, sustainable food security.
Part of the book: Wheat Improvement, Management and Utilization