University of Illinois researchers look to speed up Miscanthus’ breeding process

July 29, 2020 |

In Illinois, in a new study, University of Illinois researchers mine the Miscanthus’ vast genomic potential in an effort to speed up the breeding process and maximize its most desirable traits. In conventional breeding, one typical approach is for researchers to grow individuals from a diverse set of populations and select those with the best traits for mating. But, for Miscanthus, those traits don’t show up until plants are 2-3 years old. Even after plants from this first generation are mated, it takes the offspring another 2-3 years to reveal whether the desired traits were faithfully passed on.

Although the researchers have more work to do, the simulation study proved genomic selection can work for Miscanthus × giganteus. The next step is further refining which populations are used to train the statistical model and evaluating crosses in the field.

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Category: Research

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