• USDA Lab Collaborative Research Gets Cover of Plant Biotechnology Journal

    Increasing populations and temperatures are expected to escalate food demands beyond production capacities. Increasing expression of glutaredoxin S17 from Arabidopsis thaliana provided tolerance to heat stress in maize. The thermotolerant maize lines had increased protection against protein damage and yielded a sixfold increase in grain production under heat stress field conditions. Our results present a robust and simple strategy for meeting rising yield demands in maize and, possibly, other crop species in a warming global environment. (Plant Biotechnology Journal, 2022).

  • USDA Lab Member Yuzhou Xu Selected for 2022 Don C. Warren Genetics Scholarship

    Yuzhou "Bruce" Xu has been selected for the 2022 Don C. Warren Genetics Scholarship. The Warren Scholarship Fund is committed to an exceptional graduate student in the KSU College of Agriculture and who is conducting research that furthers our understanding of genetics in humans, animals, plants, or any other class of organism. While there was stiff competition this year, Bruce's application was one of the 5 that rose to the top. The committee was very impressed with his genetics-related research and related accomplishments.

  • Identification of Candidate Chromosome Region of (Sbwm1) for Soil-Borne Wheat Mosaic Virus Resistance in Wheat

    Using association analysis, the Sbwm1 gene has been located within a 620 kb region on chromosome 5D. The candidate region includes several disease resistance related genes and we identified a PTI1-like tyrosine-protein kinase 1 gene as a putative candidate gene for Sbwm1. Two flanking SNPs for Sbwm1 have been converted into KASP assays and can effectively separate resistant and susceptible lines. (Nature: Scientific Reports, 2020).

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Current Research Projects

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Goals and Objectives

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The goals of the USDA Central Small Grain Genotyping Center in Kansas:

1. Conduct research to accelerate the breeding process by identifying novel DNA markers and genes for important wheat traits.

2. Use markers to select desired wheat genotypes.

3. Provide feedback to breeders seeking to create new cultivars in response to specific challenges such as newly emergent plant pathogens or changing global weather patterns.

Our specific objectives:

1. Maximize the efficiency of plant breeding programs by applying high-throughput DNA marker-assisted selection (MAS) technology, resulting in the early release of superior germplasm and cultivars.

2. Develop new and robust DNA markers associated with resistance to biotic and abiotic stresses and end use quality in wheat through next generation sequencing and functional gene cloning.

3. Fingerprint a core set of cultivars and their breeding parents with DNA markers to develop molecular marker profiles for these cultivars, which will be cross-linked to other genetic information currently available in other USDA databases.

4. Exploit new technologies such as next generation sequencing and other high throughput genotyping technologies for gene discovery and genomic selection in breeding programs.

5. Provide training and consultation on marker analysis to breeders and other scientists.

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