Dr. Gina Brown-Guedira directs the Eastern Regional Small Grains Genotyping Lab (ERSGGL) and conducts research focused on genetic analysis of pest resistance, adaptation, and end-use quality in small grains and the application of molecular markers for cultivar improvement.
The ERSGGL provides wheat and oat breeders with access to state-of-the-art technologies to implement Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) in their breeding programs with the goal of improving efficiency of the breeding process and accelerating the development of new cultivars.
Dr. Brown-Guedira has contributed to mapping of genes in oat, wheat and related species for resistance to leaf, stripe and stem rust, Karnal bunt, powdery mildew, Hessian fly, wheat curl mite and soil-borne wheat mosaic virus as well as drought tolerance and winter-hardiness. The research of our lab focuses on genetic analysis of pest resistance, adaptation, and end-use quality in small grains and the application of molecular markers for cultivar improvement.
We collaborate with much of the U.S wheat breeding community through the Wheat Coordinated Agriculture Project, "Wheat Applied Genomics" (http://maswheat.ucdavis.edu/). The goal of this project is to increase the competitiveness of public wheat breeding programs through the intensive use of modern selection technologies, mainly Marker Assisted Selection (MAS). We are involved in efforts to map and deploy genes conferring effective resistance to cereal rusts, including resistance to stem rust race Ug99 that poses a threat to global wheat production.We also participate in coordinated research efforts supported by the U.S. Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative (http://www.scabusa.org/home) to map FHB resistance in wheat, using bi-parental populations and association mapping approaches and to deploy FHB resistance via MAS. Through these projects and others, we have assisted regional breeding programs in enriching populations for important genes conferring resistance to disease and insect pests and improved end-use quality. Our lab provides MAS data on tens of thousands of breeding lines submitted from 18 public and private breeding programs each year. These data facilitate development of improved cultivars for producers and end-users.
In addition to our research work to identify marker-trait linkages and to implement current technologies, we are working to develop and deploy new DNA marker technologies. We are currently collaborating with researchers at Kansas State University and USDA-ARS Aberdeen, ID on USDA-AFRI funded grants to develop SNP markers for use in wheat and oats. We are also working to streamline MAS by developing gel-free assays for important genes that are diagnostic, cost-effective and simple to use.