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Crop Biotech Update

Researchers Identify Genomic Regions Associated with Yield Potential and Climate Resilience in Bread Wheat

May 26, 2021

A landmark research survey on grain yield potential and climate resilience has identified genomic regions associated with yield potential and stress-resilience in bread wheat. Scientists from the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) conducted a genome-wide association study (GWAS) based on 100 datasets and 105,000 grain yield observations from 55,568 wheat breeding lines developed by CIMMYT.

The researchers evaluated the lines between 2003 and 2019 in different sites, years, planting systems, irrigation systems, and abiotic stresses at CIMMYT's primary yield testing site, the Norman E. Borlaug Experimental Research Station in Ciudad Obregon, Mexico, and in an additional eight countries including Afghanistan, India, and Myanmar. The researchers generated the grain-yield-associated marker profiles and analyzed the grain-yield favorable allele frequencies for a large panel of 73,142 wheat lines, resulting in 44.5 million data points. The marker profiles showed that the CIMMYT global wheat germplasm is rich in grain yield favorable alleles and is a trove for breeders to choose parents and design strategic crosses based on complementary grain yield alleles at desired loci.

"By dissecting the genetic basis of the elusive grain-yield trait, the resources presented in our study provide great opportunities to accelerate genomic breeding for high-yielding and climate-resilient wheat varieties," said CIMMYT wheat breeder Philomin Juliana.

For more details, read the news article on the CIMMYT website.

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