Precision breeding in wheat mediated by engineered haploid inducers

  • Term: 3 years, beginning in 2018
  • Funding Amount: $ 110,000
  • Lead Researcher(s): John Laurie (Agriculture and Agri Food Canada)
  • Funding Partners: Alberta Wheat Commission (AWC)

Project Description:

The main focus of this project is to develop a simple and reliable method of gene editing in wheat and to improve on the current method being used by wheat breeders to produce doubled haploids.

In Wheat breeding, one method that currently takes years off the breeding process is doubled haploid (DH) production through the maize pollination method, in which the immature embryo has to be rescued to allow further development and recovery. The goal of the proposed research is to improve seed viability following crossing by attempting to remove the endosperm block and to bring gene editing to the wheat DH production pipeline.

With a rapidly changing world, pressure is being placed on agriculture to make enormous increases in production over the coming decade. The proposed research addresses this future need by adding gene editing to the toolbox of wheat breeders and by improving the existing wheat DH pipeline through endosperm restoration. The approaches are novel, non-transgenic and apply current knowledge of seed biology. This technology promises rapid acceleration in wheat breeding.

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