The Wheat CAP Project: Integrating Marker-Assisted Selection into US Wheat Breeding Programs.
Gina Brown-Guedira, USDA-ARS Plant Science Research Unit, 840 Main Campus Dr., North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27695
Public wheat breeding programs are responsible for the development of the majority of commercial varieties grown in the United States. For the wheat industry to remain competitive, these programs must integrate new technologies into conventional breeding efforts. The USDA-ARS Regional Genotyping Laboratories for wheat and other small grains were established to assist programs in the practical use of marker assisted selection (MAS) through high-throughput DNA extraction and marker screening procedures. In addition, a consortium of public wheat breeding and genetics programs was formed in 2001 that has worked to introgress more than 23 disease resistance genes and 21 quality-related gene variants into adapted wheat parents of different market classes. In 2006 the Wheat CAP grant was funded that includes 20 wheat breeders working with all market classes and the four USDA-ARS genotyping labs. The goals of the CAP project are to identify additional markers linked to traits of importance to the wheat industry and to use high-throughput marker-assisted selection to move traits into high-yielding wheat cultivars. An overview of the different MAS strategies and high-throughput protocols being used in this project will be presented.