Plant Breeding in the 21st Century

DNA sequencing, genotyping, phenotyping revolutionizing breeding methods

Newswise — Sept. 14, 2017—Contemporary plant breeding requires teams of scientists with expertise in genetics, phenotyping, and statistics. There is a real need to improve the efficiency of breeding and increase prediction accuracy in terms of genotypes, experimental design, and environment sampling.

The “Plant Breeding in the 21st Century” presentation planned at the Managing Global Resources for a Secure Future ASA, CSSA, SSSA International Annual Meeting in Tampa, FL, will address this important topic. The presentation will be held Monday, October 23, 2017, 3:20 PM. The meeting is sponsored by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and the Soil Science Society of America.

Mark Sorrells, Cornell University, will present the lecture, which is part of the Ron Phillips Plant Genetics Lectureship.

New technology has changed the face of crop breeding. “Inexpensive DNA sequencing, genotyping, new statistical methods, high throughput phenotyping, and gene-editing are revolutionizing breeding methods and strategies for improving both quantitative and qualitative traits,” says Sorrells. “Genomic selection (GS) models use genome-wide markers to predict performance for both phenotyped and non-phenotyped plants. Aerial and ground imaging systems generate data on correlated traits such as canopy temperature and normalized difference vegetative index that can be combined with genotypes in multivariate models to further increase prediction accuracy and reduce the cost of advanced trials with limited replication in time and space. Design of a GS training population is crucial to the accuracy of prediction models and can be affected by many factors including population structure and composition.”

For more information about the 2017 meeting, visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/. Media are invited to attend the conference. Pre-registration by Oct. 10, 2017 is required. Visit https://www.acsmeetings.org/media for registration information. For information about the “Life Underground: Plant Breeding in the 21st Century” presentation, visit https://scisoc.confex.com/crops/2017am/webprogram/Paper104514.html.

To speak with one of the scientists, contact Susan V. Fisk, 608-273-8091, sfisk@sciencesocieties.org to arrange an interview. 

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