Project Number: 5325-21000-014-03-R
Project Type: Reimbursable
Start Date: Dec 1, 2007
End Date: Nov 30, 2011
The objective is to enhance the security and nutritional value of grain consumed in the United States by 1) contributing to the genomic and methodological knowledge base needed to efficiently improve grain for functional food attributes, 2) devising, refining, and disseminating efficient breeding methods that optimally use data conferred by cutting-edge biotechnologies, and 3) developing educational materials and programs to stimulate the curiosity and invite the next generation of plant breeders to become involved in this profession.
Loci affecting beta-glucan quantity and structure will be identified through association genetic methods in elite oat breeding germplasm, and used to compare two competing marker-assisted selection (MAS) methods with phenotypic selection. Loci affecting beta-glucan quantity and structure in oat accessions from the National Plant Germplasm System (NPGS) divergent for beta-glucan content will be identified to determine whether NPGS accessions carry alleles that could complement those of elite germplasm. Genomic resources developed in barley will be used to identify candidate loci that may affect beta-glucan content and to generate markers for homologous oat loci. Instructional curricula on association-based marker assisted selection will be developed for teaching to professionals as well as to draw intelligent young students toward plant breeding as a stimulating and rewarding career.