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ARS Home » Southeast Area » Raleigh, North Carolina » Plant Science Research » Research » Research Project #440671

Research Project: Maize GXE and Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) Cooperation – Phase 2

Location: Plant Science Research

Project Number: 6070-21220-017-005-S
Project Type: Non-Assistance Cooperative Agreement

Start Date: Jul 1, 2021
End Date: Jun 30, 2026

The Maize GXE consortium has collaborated with the Germplasm Enhancement of Maize (GEM) project to evaluate and characterize the utility of exotic variation across wide range of environmental conditions. A goal of this effort has been to integrate new phenotyping tools, environmental characterization, and hybrid evaluation to improve crop performance in current and anticipated environments. The Maize GXE project provides a distributed platform for the testing and deployment of tools and technologies to improve our understanding of the interaction of environment (including management) and diverse maize hybrids on the expression of economically important phenotypes. Since 2014, the Maize GXE project has evaluated more than 1,700 unique maize hybrids across more than 220 environments. This multi-collaborator project has measured 11 core agronomic and phenological traits for each hybrid evaluated and has collected environmental and plot level data for each testing location. The GEM program is a public-private partnership focused on expanding the germplasm base of commercial maize germplasm in North America through the incorporation of exotic sources of genetic variability. This cooperation is advancing into a second phase more specifically focused on applying innovative breeding technologies to develop and characterize relevant sources of germplasm, to coordinate and advance the application of new technologies to improve the efficiency of measuring specific phenotypes and methods to acquire, analyze and interpret the data collected to improve prediction ability. The project is also focused on developing resources to standardized the collection of large scale phenotypic, environmental and genotypic data across a geographically distributed set of collaborators and tools to facilitate data accessibility and utility.

The University of Wisconsin research group will have activities within the following areas to support the Maize GXE project within G2F: - Apply new breeding technologies to characterize and develop relevant maize germplasm. - Coordinate advanced phenotyping activities and deployment. - Coordinate data acquisition, processing and consolidation. - Coordinate collaborators engagement and related logistics, including cooperator and stakeholder meetings. - Support production and coordinate distribution of inbred and hybrid seed to cooperators. - Manage phenotypic, genotypic and environmental data collection and processing. - Facilitate release of quality-controlled data to collaborators and the public.