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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Plant, Soil and Nutrition Research

2011 Annual Report

1a. Objectives (from AD-416)
Objective 1. Association mapping of b-glucan content and structure in elite oat germplasm and replicated comparison of phenotypic with marker-assisted selection. Objective 2. Association mapping of b-glucan content from the National Plant Germplasm System: complementation of elite oat. Objective 3. Educational initiatives to pipeline students into plant breeding and to educate professionals.

1b. Approach (from AD-416)
Objective 1. We will apply association analysis to a population of elite oat lines tested in the USDA UOPN since 1996. The b-glucan content of lines is known. We will genotype lines using DArT markers. We will apply both mixed-model association analysis controlling for kinship using pedigree information and whole genome analysis. Results will feed into two cycles of MAS using both analyses. Conversion of UOPN data files on GrainGenes to a relational database that will also hold genotypic data will provide informatic support and a future resource for the oat community. Objective 2. The GRIN system contains b-glucan content observations on 5382 oat accessions. We will pick 250 lines from each tail of the distribution to genotype. Objective 2 will either confirm loci identified in Objective 1, or to identify new loci. For loci mapped in Objectives 2 but not 1, we will determine whether the elite population carries the allele conferring higher b-glucan content as shown by analysis of the NPGS population. Objective 3. We will develop an interactive distance short course entitled “Association analysis and its application to plant breeding.” The course syllabus and content will emerge from the research proposed here and from the Barley CAP. The target audience will be plant breeding professionals and upper-level graduate students in plant breeding nationwide. Two educational activities will help draw new students to plant breeding. First, a one-hour presentation oriented toward high-school students will be used at recruitment venues organized by ISU. Second, a week-long teaching module on biotechnology and computational biology in plant breeding will be introduced into two lower-level Agronomy courses and one upper-level Food Science course.

3. Progress Report
Work performed at Iowa State University has been as follows: Three projects are ongoing. In the first, DNA from the past decade of the Oat Uniform Performance Nursery has been scored for about 1000 markers. Three breeding programs for high beta-glucan content using these data are now ongoing based on phenotypic, marker-assisted, and genomic selection. A second cycle of selection has been completed. In the second, DNA from the oat collection of the National Plant Germplasm System has been obtained for accessions divergent in beta-glucan content. This DNA has also been scored for about 1000 markers. These accessions have now been evaluated for beta-glucan content in the field. Association analysis for QTL affecting this grain quality trait has been initiated. Finally, activities to develop a distance education short course on modern molecular breeding are taking place. Monitoring of this activity has been accomplished by weekly telephone and video conference contact with graduate students and researchers at Iowa State University.

4. Accomplishments

Last Modified: 10/17/2017
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