Submitted to: American Society of Agronomy Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 30, 2004
Publication Date: October 30, 2004
Citation: Jauhar, P.P. 2004. Modern biotechnology as an integral supplement to conventional plant breeding: the prospects, and challenges. [abstract]. In: Annual Meetings Abstracts [CD-ROM]. ASA, CSSA, SSSA, Madison, WI. Oct. 31-Nov.4, 2004. Seattle, WA. Technical Abstract: The art of plant breeding was developed long before the laws of genetics became known. The advent of the principles of genetics and cytogenetics at the turn of the last century catalyzed the growth of plant breeding, making it a science-based technology that has been instrumental in bringing about substantial genetic improvements in crop plants. The process of plant improvement has been further accelerated by biotechnological tools of gene transfer, which help engineer new traits into plants that are otherwise very difficult to introduce and evaluate by traditional breeding. Most major crops are being genetically transformed by direct DNA delivery via microprojectile bombardment or other means. Using microprojection, we produced the first transgenic durum wheat in my laboratory. Having standardized the transgenic technology for durum wheat, we are incorporating antifungal genes into durum cultivars to test for Fusarium head blight (FHB) resistance. The results will provide new information to plant scientists on the role of these antifungal genes in FHB resistance. How these in vitro approaches to gene transfer can effectively supplement the conventional breeding programs will be discussed.