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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Pullman, Washington » WHGQ » Research » Research Project #427077

Research Project: Doubled Haploid Wheat Production to Enhance Breeding Efficiency

Location: Wheat Health, Genetics, and Quality Research

Project Number: 2090-21000-033-03-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Aug 28, 2014
End Date: Aug 27, 2019

The projected increase in the global population and demand for food requires an increase in the rate of progress for breeding gains from major food crops like wheat. The doubled haploid technology increases the efficiency of the breeding program by returning fully homozygous lines from priority crosses within a single year. The labor required to manage a doubled haploid program is beyond the scope of the current USDA, Agricultural Research Service (ARS) wheat breeding program and Washington State University (WSU) has established a laboratory to create doubled haploid plants for the WSU winter and spring wheat breeding programs. Through the specific cooperative agreement, the USDA program can take advantage of existing technical staff and facilities at a reduced cost compared to doing the research in-house. The cost per line for WSU working along is $15 per DH line. Through this cooperative agreement, working together, this project will return approximately 4000 DH breeding lines to the ARS wheat breeding program.

Doubled haploids of wheat will be developed using the Maize hybridization technique. Briefly, the wheat flower is emasculated prior to anthesis and pollinated with fresh maize pollen. The developing embryo is sprayed with a dilute growth regulator and bagged to prevent contamination. Fourteen to sixteen days after pollination, the embryos are excised under sterile conditions and place on MS media until they form roots and germinate. Young plantlets are treated with colchicine to cause the chromosome numbers to double. The putative doubled haploids are then vernalized and grown in the WSU plant growth facility. Seed that develops on fertile tillers is a doubled haploid and is returned to the breeding program.