plant breeding

Dr. Kendall R Lamkey
Professor and Chair

RII Track-2 FEC: Genome Engineering to Sustain Crop Improvement (GETSCI)

Improved and practical crop breeding tools are required to meet the increasing demands of a growing global population and to overcome the sudden and variable stresses, made worse, by climate change. This project brings together researchers from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa and Iowa State University to develop an efficient, robust genome engineering toolkit that can be used to speed the generation of resilient crops adapted to a changing environment. Reproductive barriers are a major bottleneck that limits the genetic diversity available for crop improvement.

In March of 2021, a decade of hard work and persistence paid off as Katherine Frels moved back to Lincoln and into the field, not as a graduate student but as the first female small grains breeder in University of Nebraska history.

Iowa State University scientists are leading an effort to improve efficiency and genetics in organic corn production, a fast-growing sector of the agricultural world since the beginning of 2020.

Thomas Lübberstedt, a professor of agronomy at Iowa State, leads a research team aiming to develop new lines of corn that take advantage of recent advancements in crop genetics that also can be grown according to organic standards. The research team recently received a $1.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture to apply genetic tools to the development of organic sweet corn and varieties of corn for specialty uses, such as for popcorn and tortillas.

Improved, practical crop breeding tools are essential to meet the increasing global demands for sustainable food production, made more urgent by the unpredictable stresses driven by a changing climate.

Choosing the best crop variety to maximize yield and profitability while still staying within budget is vital to any farm, whether its 100 acres or 100,000. It is also a driving objective for plant breeders that develop these varieties for farmers.

The Foundation for Food & Agriculture Research (FFAR) awarded a $2,044,214 grant to our Dr. Sotirios Archontoulis to evaluate how maize breeding, field management and environment affect sustainable corn production. Iowa State University and Bayer Crop Science provided matching funds for a $4,089,857 total investment. The Leopold Center for Sustainable AgriculturePurdue University and Donald Danforth Plant Science Center are also supporting this project.

Scientists have invested great time and effort into making connections between a plant’s genotype, or its genetic makeup, and its phenotype, or the plant’s observable traits. Understanding a plant’s genome helps plant biologists predict how that plant will perform in the real world, which can be useful for breeding crop varieties that will produce high yields or resist stress.

The C. R. Weber Award for Excellence in Plant Breeding was established in 1981 to recognize outstanding academic and research accomplishments by plant breeding graduate students in the Department of Agronomy.

C. R. Weber was a professor in the Department of Agronomy at Iowa State University who made outstanding contributions to plant breeding, particularly in soybeans. The award was established by his family and friends to reward graduate students with the same goal for excellence to which he aspired.

A cash award of $500 will be given to students in the Department of Agronomy with majors in plant breeding who meet the qualifications.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - plant breeding