Wednesday, November 4, 2009: 10:40 AM
Convention Center, Room 403-404, Fourth Floor
Vibrant public sector involvement in variety development is a hallmark of wheat compared with other major agronomic crops. Public wheat breeders have developed varieties that cover approximately 78% of the US wheat area. The objectives of the WheatCAP consortium were to transfer new developments in genomics to wheat improvement by combining the expertise of the four regional USDA genotyping laboratories, genomics researchers, wheat breeders, and end-users. Targeted traits for selection were determined by breeders in consultation with the wheat growers and industry and included resistance to fungi, insects, viruses, abiotic stress and improved end use quality. A combination of field based, statistical and marker assisted breeding methods were used to develop and release over 60 germplasm and cultivars. Nineteen mapping populations were developed, genotyped with an average of 413 markers and assayed in over 145 environments to identify several important QTL including disease resistance genes and quality traits. Educational activities included training 20 high-school students, 106 undergraduate students, and 93 graduate students. Marker-assisted breeding was discussed in 176 field days and 135 presentations to growers and industry. Sixteen hands-on MAS workshops and 10 “Combine to Kitchen” educational tours were completed. The WheatCAP has provided a foundation for national collaborative research and education efforts in plant breeding and genetics to complement ongoing regional activities.