Focused Identification of Germplasm for Specific Traits

Published on 26 June 2011

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Timeline

Start Date: 1 July 2009 | End Date: 30 June 2012

Overview

As plant breeders are challenged to produce new varieties that can deal with the complex impact of climate change and other emerging production constraints they will be increasingly forced to look within genetic resource collections for novel genes. The problem then becomes; how do they rationally choose a subset of germplasm to screen from’ genetic resource collections that contain millions of accessions; given that it is not economically or logistically feasible to screen them all for a specific suite of traits.

GRDC has previously funded a project (ICA00003)aimed at developing methodologies to identify small best-bet subsets of germplasm from global plant genetic resource collections that will maximize the chances of finding the desired traits in a manageable set of genotypes. The resulting approach has been coined the Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy (FIGS)

FIGS use agro-climatic information, generated by Geographic Information Systems, as well as other types of information, to describe the environments from which genetic resources were originally collected. This allows us to predict where selection pressures may have occurred for specific adaptive traits. This in turn gives us a rational basis upon which to select tailor made best-bet subsets of germ plasm from genetic resource collections to screen for useful traits, thereby greatly enhancing the efficiency and timeline associated with gene discovery.

FIGS have proved successful at identifying bread wheat landraces tolerant to abiotic stresses and containing new genes for tolerances to both insect pests and diseases 

As plant breeders are challenged to produce new varieties that can deal with the complex impact of climate change and other emerging production constraints they will be increasingly forced to look within genetic resource collections for novel genes. The problem then becomes; how do they rationally choose a subset of germplasm to screen from’ genetic resource collections that contain millions of accessions; given that it is not economically or logistically feasible to screen them all for a specific suite of traits.

GRDC has previously funded a project (ICA00003)aimed at developing methodologies to identify small best-bet subsets of germplasm from global plant genetic resource collections that will maximize the chances of finding the desired traits in a manageable set of genotypes. The resulting approach has been coined the Focused Identification of Germplasm Strategy (FIGS)

FIGS use agro-climatic information, generated by Geographic Information Systems, as well as other types of information, to describe the environments from which genetic resources were originally collected. This allows us to predict where selection pressures may have occurred for specific adaptive traits. This in turn gives us a rational basis upon which to select tailor made best-bet subsets of germ plasm from genetic resource collections to screen for useful traits, thereby greatly enhancing the efficiency and timeline associated with gene discovery.

FIGS have proved successful at identifying bread wheat landraces tolerant to abiotic stresses and containing new genes for tolerances to both insect pests and diseases 

One Response to “Focused Identification of Germplasm for Specific Traits”

  1. nawal alhajaj says:

    Dear Sir;
    I want know more about this models and what needs to applied, like should be use more than hundred lines …

    Best regards;
    Nawal

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