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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory » Research » Research Project #432813

Research Project: Cover Crop Germplasm and Breeding in Support of New Cultivar Development

Location: Sustainable Agricultural Systems Laboratory

Project Number: 8042-21660-004-45-R
Project Type: Reimbursable Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Mar 1, 2017
End Date: Feb 28, 2018

Objective:
1. Initiate a cereal and brassica breeding program; 2. Expand the Legume Cover Crop Breeding (LCCB) teams’ collaboration to include sites in the south-central U.S.; 3. Collaborate with the Noble Institute on legume cover crop genomics using cultivars bred in the LCCB program; 4. Develop a breeding program on species with greatest potential for dual use of forage and cover crop; 5. Develop genome editing methods and create new materials with improved target traits; 6. Release and license germplasm; and 7. Promote and increase the adoption of cover crops.

Approach:
Initiate a multi-site cover crop breeding program that screens germplasm and selects based on traits of interest. ARS will identify plant species: A. cool-season annual grasses: (ie rye, Secale cereal; oat, Avena sativa; triticale), B. cool-season annual legumes: (ie, hairy vetch, Vicia villosa and winter peas, Pisum sativum), and C. non-legume cover crop species: (brassica and radish) for evaluation and seed increase; 2. Determine key traits for each species that need improvement (ie biomass yield, root yield, seed yield, etc.); 3. Develop a breeding program on species with greatest potential for dual use of forage and cover crop; 5. Release and license germplasm; and 6. Increase the adoption of cover crops.