• 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).

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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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