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Salina, KS, United States

Runck B.C.,University of Minnesota | Kantar M.B.,University of Minnesota | Kantar M.B.,University of British Columbia | Jordan N.R.,University of Minnesota | And 8 more authors.
Crop Science | Year: 2014

Over the last half-century, crop breeding and agronomic advances have dramatically enhanced yields in temperate summer-annual cropping systems. Now, diversification of these cropping systems is emerging as a strategy for sustainable intensification, potentially increasing both crop production and resource conservation. In temperate zones, diversification is largely based on the introduction of winter-annual and perennial crops at spatial and temporal locations in annual-crop production systems that efficiently increase production and resource conservation. Germplasm development will be critical to this strategy, but we contend that to be feasible and efficient, germplasm improvement must be closely integrated with commercialization of these crops. To accomplish this integration, we propose a novel approach to germplasm development: the reflective plant breeding paradigm (RPBP). Our approach is enabled by developments in genomics, agroecosystem management, and innovation theory and practice. These developments and new plant-breeding technologies (e.g., low-cost sequencing, phenotyping, and spatial modeling of agroecosystems) now enable germplasm development to proceed on a time scale that enables close coordination of breeding and commercialization (i.e, development of cost-effective production systems and supply-value chains for end-use markets). The RPBP approach is based on close coordination of germplasm development with enterprise development. In addition to supporting strategic diversification of current annual-cropping systems, the RPBP may be useful in rapid adaptation of agriculture to climate change. Finally, the RPBP may offer a novel and distinctive pathway for future development of the public plant-breeding programs of land-grant universities with implications for graduate education for public-and private-sector plant breeders. © Crop Science Society of America.

Zhang X.,University of Minnesota | DeHaan L.R.,Land Institute | Higgins L.,University of Minnesota | Markowski T.W.,University of Minnesota | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Cereal Science | Year: 2014

Intermediate wheatgrass (Thinopyrum intermedium) is a perennial crop that possesses desirable agronomic traits and provides environmental services, e.g., reducing soil erosion, nitrate leaching and inputs of energy and pesticide. Thus, intermediate wheatgrass is currently being domesticated as a perennial grain crop. However, the genetic information for molecular breeding is quite limited. Here we report a molecular analysis of high-molecular-weight glutenin subunits (HMW-GS) in intermediate wheatgrass using gene cloning and protein biochemistry. Five HMW-GS genes were isolated from individual intermediate wheatgrass plants: two x-type genes TiHGS1 and TiHGS4, and three y-type genes TiHGS2, TiHGS3 and TiHGS5. Among them, TiHGS5 was novel and possessed an additional cysteine residue at the N-terminal domain or repetitive domain. Sequence alignments showed that TiHGS1 and TiHGS2 genes shared high identities (>96%) with the Glu-1Dx and Glu-1Dy genes, respectively, in common wheat and Aegilops species, TiHGS3 with HMW-GS genes from Dasypyrum or Pseudoroegneria, and TiHGS4 and TiHGS5 with HMW-GS genes from Thinopyrum elongatum. This work provides substantial new insights into the gene compositions and protein profiles of HMW-GS in intermediate wheatgrass, and also gives evidence about the genome components of intermediate wheatgrass. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd.

Turner M.K.,University of Minnesota | Turner M.K.,Land Institute | Jin Y.,University of Minnesota | Rouse M.N.,University of Minnesota | Anderson J.A.,University of Minnesota
Crop Science | Year: 2016

‘Jagger’ has been used widely as a parent to develop hard red winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) varieties throughout the US southern Great Plains. Jagger has resistance to the stem rust pathogen race TTTTF, which is virulent to many winter wheat cultivars, yet the genetic basis of this resistance was unknown. Marker analysis and resistance to leaf rust and stripe rust demonstrated that Jagger has the 2NS/2AS translocation from T. ventricosum (Tausch) Ces., Pass. & Gilelli. This segment contains resistance genes Sr38, Lr37, and Yr17. Stem rust infection types on Jagger, however, indicated that an additional stem rust resistance gene is present. Jagger is resistant to TTTTF whereas the Sr38 stem rust differential line ‘VPM1’ is susceptible. A BC1F3 population developed from the cross Jagger/2*‘LMPG-6’ was tested with race TTTTF. Resistant and susceptible DNA bulks were genotyped with a custom 9000 SNP Illumina iSelect Bead Chip using bulked segregant analysis. We identified a locus linked with the resistance gene on chromosome arm 4AL, where Sr7 is located. Crosses between Jagger BC1F3 lines resistant to TTTTF and germplasm with Sr7a identified no recombinants, indicating that resistance to TTTTF in Jagger could be conferred by Sr7a. We confirmed the effectiveness of Sr7a resistance to race TKTTF, which caused the stem rust epidemic in Ethiopia from 2013 to 2014. The molecular markers identified in this study may be used to screen for the resistance gene Sr7a and track its presence in breeding programs. © Crop Science Society of America | 5585 Guilford Rd., Madison, WI 53711 USA All rights reserved.

Smith V.H.,University of Kansas | McBride R.C.,Sapphire Energy | Shurin J.B.,University of California at San Diego | Bever J.D.,Indiana University Bloomington | And 2 more authors.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2015

Global demand for transportation fuels will increase rapidly during the upcoming decades, and concerns about fossil-fuel consumption have stimulated research on renewable biofuels that can be sustainably produced from biological feedstocks. However, if unchecked, pathogens and parasites are likely to infect these cultivated biofuel feedstocks, greatly reducing crop yields and potentially threatening the sustainability of renewable bioenergy production efforts. In particular, clonal biofuel crops grown as monocultures at industrial scales will be confronted both by an accumulation of specialist pathogens over time, and by the rapid evolution of those pathogens. We propose possible solutions to these important sustainability problems, with a focus on managing disease risk through crop rotations and the cultivation of multi-species polycultures. © The Ecological Society of America.

Charles Brummer E.,Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation | Barber W.T.,Urbana University | Collier S.M.,Cornell University | Cox T.S.,Land Institute | And 5 more authors.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment | Year: 2011

Plant breeding programs primarily focus on improving a crop's environmental adaptability and biotic stress tolerance in order to increase yield. Crop improvements made since the 1950s - coupled with inexpensive agronomic inputs, such as fertilizers, pesticides, and water - have allowed agricultural production to keep pace with human population growth. Plant breeders, particularly those at public institutions, have an interest in reducing agriculture's negative impacts and improving the natural environment to provide or maintain ecosystem services (eg clean soil, water, and air; carbon sequestration), and in creating new agricultural paradigms (eg perennial polycultures). Here, we discuss recent developments in, as well as the goals of, plant breeding, and explain how these may be connected to the specific interests of ecologists and naturalists. Plant breeding can be a powerful tool to bring "harmony" between agriculture and the environment, but partnerships between plant breeders, ecologists, urban planners, and policy makers are needed to make this a reality. © The Ecological Society of America.

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