Visit of Minister Hayashi to Purdue

The picture shows Mr. Yoshimasa Hayashi, A member of the House of Councillors in Japan visiting Purdue's Controlled Environment Phenotyping Facility and the root phenotypes that we are evaluating in the lab.  One of the interesting areas of research in my lab is studying inheritance of root traits.  


Research Overview

Wheat is the world’s largest crop by area (27 million hectares) and is a major crop in the U.S. While wheat yields increased substantially into the 1980s, yield gains have slowed over the past three decades. The current annual rate of yield increase in wheat is about 0.9% globally. This rate is insufficient to achieve the doubling of wheat yields needed by 2050, to feed a burgeoning world population. Soft red winter wheat is planted on approximately six million acres of the eastern United States and produces nearly 320 million bushels of grain for domestic consumption and international export.

Research in my laboratory uses classical breeding and genome-wide marker technology to genetically dissect and deploy critical agronomic traits. The advent of high-density markers and advanced statistical methods has paved the way to identify genetic loci that control agronomic traits by using genome-wide association studies (GWAS) and capture the effect of minor genes that are hard to be deployed by marker-assisted selection (MAS), via genomic selection (GS). Our genome-wide projects at Purdue University involved historical, local, and regional elite soft red winter (SRW) wheat populations, each comprising hundreds of individuals. In collaboration with the USDA-ARS, we genotyped these populations using the genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) method. These resources allowed us to explore the genetics of traits underlying grain yield components such as the tiller number, grain number per spike, grain number per unit area, and kernel weight, and plant height.

Breeding strategies are specific to the target regions where plants are to be grown. Fusarium head blight disease is prevalent in the eastern region of the US and negatively affects grain yield and end-use quality. The US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative financially support our breeding research.




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