New Technologies Quicken Development of Climate-resilient Wheat in South Asia

Crippling climate changes, coupled with a growing population, threaten food security, economic welfare and social harmony in South Asia—a region heavily dependent on wheat for its nutrition and income. But in the race to fight hunger, the development of new wheat varieties that can withstand harsh growing conditions is severely hindered by traditionally laborious and time-consuming breeding processes. Read full article in Feed the Future September newsletter.

BISA Promotes Wheat Phenotyping Technologies

The Borlaug Institute for South Asia (BISA) is taking advantage of new technological advances in phenotyping that have the potential to increase wheat yields, measure field data more efficiently and save farmers time and labor. Phenotyping involves measuring the observable traits of crops, a process that can be long and tedious for wheat breeders who walk through fields collecting data on individual plants. Uttam Kumar, associate scientist with CIMMYT's Global Wheat Program, is testing several phenotyping innovations in collaboration with Jesse Polland, assistant breeder, and Daljit Singh, Ph.D. student, both from Kansas State University (KSU), in an effort to adapt new technologies to the specific needs of breeders in South Asia and make phenotyping wheat faster and more efficient. Read the story here.

Spiked GBS: a new marker platform

New paper in BMC Genomics that presents spiked GBS, which combines targeted amplicon sequencing with reduced representation genotyping-by-sequencing. To reduce the cost of targeted assays, we use a small percent of sequencing capacity available in runs of GBS libraries to “spike” amplified targets tagged with a different set of unique barcodes. This open platform will allow multiple, single-target loci to be assayed while simultaneously generating a whole-genome profile.