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ARS Home » Midwest Area » East Lansing, Michigan » Sugarbeet and Bean Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #225264

Title: Integrating genomics and plant breeding: whither the breeders?

item Mcgrath, J Mitchell - Mitch

Submitted to: AgriGenomics World Congress
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/22/2008
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Plant breeding has been practiced >5,000 years as an art and >100 years as a science. Selection provides the means where populations are improved for product, such as yield or composition, or for crop protection, such as pest and stress resistance. Such activities have not required use of genomic technologies. With intimate knowledge of their crop(s) and the need to produce populations, plant breeders are uniquely positioned to apply the tools of genomics. Where then, are the plant breeders in the genomic revolution? Notwithstanding diminished capacity in public plant breeding and in training new breeders, a limiting factor for adoption of genomics into traditional breeding programs is that knowledge developed for effective selection schema does not cleanly fit knowledge generated via genomics. Much of the gene action operated upon by traditional selection is difficult to discern, but it is precisely these traits that genomic tools can best reveal. Thus, the challenge for integrating genomics and traditional breeding is to engage high throughput approaches in traditional breeding programs, specifically at the level of phenotyping where the molecular bases of selection can be discovered. Molecular phenotyping is a powerful approach to discovering molecular interactions influencing agricultural productivity, and allowing their subsequent manipulation.