Testing new genomic methods to accelerate genetic gain in UK winter wheat

Lead Research Organisation: University of Cambridge
Department Name: Plant Sciences

Abstract

Theme: Agriculture and Food Security

The project will focus on wheat, Europe's main crop, and the testing of new genomic methods to accelerate genetic gain. Realising the investment of the public and private sector in the generation of next-generation tools is essential to deliver improved wheat varieties to farmer's fields. The project will use a suite of complementary resources to test emerging quantitative genetic approaches, such as genomic selection, in elite wheat populations. The approaches proposed range from field phenotyping, including the employment of ground- and aerial-based sensor technology to bioinformatics and the development of flexible genetic markers for use in breeding. The partnership with RAGT Seeds Ltd is integral to delivering new knowledge directly to breeding. As part of the iCASE studentship the successful applicant will have the opportunity to interact with an interdisciplinary team at RAGT Seeds Ltd including plant breeders, molecular geneticists and statisticians.

Publications

10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011194/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1827426 Studentship BB/M011194/1 01/10/2016 31/03/2021 Tobias Alison Barber
 
Description Still in the early stages. Identifying genetic locations of traits which affect wheat yield. These will then be made into markers which can be used by breeders and researchers to screen material to see if they contain the useful genes
Exploitation Route Genetics markers used by researchers and wheat breeders to actively improve UK wheat.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink

 
Description Through talking at the NIAB open days to industry professionals I informed them about the impact that interspecific introgressions have had on modern bread wheat and the value they have added to the gene-pool. My project aims to dissect these blocks which will be of benefit to plant breeders and wheat farmers, this is to come.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink
Impact Types Economic

 
Description Biomaker challenge 2019 - Cambridge University. Project: MACRO IMAGER: a low-cost multi-purpose large area macro digital photography phenotyping station
Amount £750 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2020 
End 12/2020
 
Description Cambridge Global Food Security - travel fund
Amount £500 (GBP)
Organisation Global Food Security 
Sector Public
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2018 
End 12/2018
 
Description FOLLOW ON FUND: Biomaker challenge 2019 - Cambridge University. Project: MACRO IMAGER: a low-cost multi-purpose large area macro digital photography phenotyping station
Amount £2,000 (GBP)
Organisation University of Cambridge 
Sector Academic/University
Country United Kingdom
Start 05/2020 
End 12/2020
 
Description GARNet Monogram travel fund
Amount £200 (GBP)
Organisation GARNet 
Sector Learned Society
Country United Kingdom
Start 04/2018 
End 04/2018
 
Description Genetics Society Travel Grant : International Wheat Congress, Saskatoon, Canada, July 2019
Amount £750 (GBP)
Organisation The Genetics Society 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United Kingdom
Start 07/2019 
End 07/2019
 
Description NIAB Open day field tours 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Giving tours of the field trials as part of the NIAB open days. Talking about wheat projects in general at NIAB as well as talking more in depth about my project and its relevance to UK wheat breeding. Multiple groups visiting in batches consisting of members of research institutes, universities and commercial breeding companies. Visitors were mainly UK based with some international attendees.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016,2017,2018
 
Description Poster presentation at BBSRC executive visit to Cambridge University (SLCU) 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact I presentated of a poster of my work ' Interrogation of multi-season yield and yield component data in UK elite pre-breeding population' to BBSRC executives during their visit to Cambridge University (SLCU). DTP students were selected to represent the different departments and partner institutes across the range of BBSRC research themes. I was there representing NIAB and the 'Bioscience for sustainable agriculture snd food theme'. I discussed my work with BBSRC executives and heads of departments from the university.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Poster presentation at MONOGRAM April 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact I presented a poster at MONOGRAM 2018. "The Monogram Network consists of UK based researchers with an active interest in small grain cereal and grass (including the C4 energy grasses) research. Commercial scientists and plant breeders are active members and provide the link between Monogram science and commercial exploitation. Monogram includes both basic and more applied research and its members span disciplines including plant genetics, physiology, pathology, breeding, and bioinformatics. We also have extensive expertise in outreach activities and links with industry."
My poster was entitled "Harvesting the genetic value of interpecific wheat introgressions", over 250 people attended the conference and the poster session was very popular. I spoke in depth to many people about my project and made some useful contacts at other institutions.
This was funded by the GARNet travel fund and I presented my OpenPlant funded project.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation at the NIAB bioinformatics meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentations at the NIAB Bioinformatics meetings, giving updates on the progress of the bioinformatics portion of my PhD. Audience comprised of staff and students at NIAB Cambridge and, via Skype, staff and students from NIAB EMR in Kent all with an interest in bioinformatics. This sparked good discussions on other ways to perform analyses and tips as well as future directions to take.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017,2018
 
Description Presented poster at 'Plant Quantitative Genetics: from Theory into Practice', Birmingha, November 2019 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented poster and flash presentation at Plant Quant to range of parties interested in plant quantitative genetics. Group consisted of industry and academia.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Presented poster at the 1st International Wheat Congress, Saskatoon, Canada 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presented a poster at the 1st International Wheat Congress, in Saskatoon, Canada July 2019. Poster titled 'Interrogation of multi-season yield andyield component data in a UK elite pre-breeding population' in the wheat improvement poster session. IWC had over 1000 attendees and very busy poster sessions. I spent a lot of time talking to other postgraduate students, post-docs, project PIs, commercial breeders and other industry workers about my work. I gained valuable feedback on my work as well as discussing potential future collaborations with other institutions and companies.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019
 
Description Project seminar during visit to Centre of Plant Structural and Functional Genomics (Olomouc, Czech Republic) 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Around 35 PIs, post-docs and PhD students attended a seminar I gave which visiting the Centre of Plant Structural and Functional Genomics in Olomouc, Czech Republic. The title of my talk was "Harvesting the genetic value of interspecific wheat introgressions". I was visiting to arrange the chromosome flow sorting for sequencing of a near isogenic pair of wheat lines. I had visited the year before for more flow sorting and I presented my initial findings from that analysis. The talk led to a extended discussion on the direction of the project and several interesting new ideas were spoken about
Travel was paid for by the Cambridge Global Food Security travel fund.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018