Breeding Germplasm

Field-based Germplasm Development from Wild Species

Project Summary:
This is a continuation (years 3 – 5) of a project with the objectives of: 1) establishing a prebreeding program that produces enhanced germplasm derived from the wild wheat collections that is suitable for use in commercial wheat breeding programs and 2) producing introgession libraries that immortalize the genetic variation within individual accessions. Introgression libraries will be readily accessible to the wheat research community as source material for trait identification. This initial effort is focused on Aegilops tauschii and Tritcum dicoccoides (wild emmer). Mini-core sets have been developed that have served as the basis for this germplasm development effort. Ae. tauschii is the ancestral donor of the D-genome of modern bread wheat, including the critically important GluD1 locus for gluten strength and the grain hardness gene complex. T. dicoccoides in the ancestral donor of the A- and B-genome of modern bread wheat, and it is a source of genetic variation for greater grain protein concentration and mineral concentration. The focus of this project is to systematically advance the introgression of these wild wheat stocks into elite hard winter wheat germplasm to the point at which meaningful quality evaluation for flour functionality and flavor traits can be conducted. We will simultaneously work the segregating populations derived from all generations of this effort in our applied field breeding programs toward development of improved germplasm.

Priority focus is being placed on developing novel bread wheat germplasm incorporating the wild wheat collections in order to identify novel traits derived from the wild wheat collections that can address current limitations of flour functionality in bread wheat, increase overall processing quality and efficiency, reduce external additives, and increase product quality.