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.

Breeding Assisted Genomics

New perspective paper on genomics and plant breeding is out in Current Opinion in Plant Biology.  Breeding assisted genomics is the concept of shifting effort for basic genomic studies from dedicated structured populations, to capturing the entire scope of genetic determinants in breeding lines. By doing this we can move towards not only furthering our understanding of functional genomics in plants, but also rapidly improving crops for increased food security, availability and nutrition.  

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.

Improving wheat quality in partnership with General Mills

We are launching a new partnership with General Mills to apply genomic selection for targeted improvement of wheat quality.  In this project, we will implement focused approaches for characterizing and improving milling and baking qualities in wheat, combined with improving its nutritional quality.  Read more about this exciting new project.