NIFA Omics

There is pressing need for increasing yield of staple commodity crops to meet food security challenges in the coming decades.  At the same time there is increasing demand for providing not only more food, but more nutritious food. In hard wheat breeding, there is a considerable challenge for addressing both yield and baking quality.  Selection for end-use quality is expensive and time consuming, being relegated to a final stages of the breeding program. Inexpensive genome-wide molecular markers have enabled development of genomic prediction models for complex traits and selection of superior candidate varieties.  However, this approach depends on large populations and provides limited insight to the molecular and biochemical basis of trait variation.  

The overall goal of this project is to develop and implement a novel, integrated ‘omics’ approach for genomic characterization and molecular breeding to improve end-use quality in hard winter wheat. Overall, this project will lead to an increased understanding of wheat quality genetics and improved selection strategies that can accelerate the delivery of superior varieties to wheat farmers.  

Focused on this goal, the following specific activity level objectives are being addressed: 

1)     Profile advanced breeding lines in K-State wheat program for milling and baking quality.
2)     Generate proteomic, metabolomics and ionomic profiles of parental and advanced breeding lines and genomic profiles of all breeding lines.
3)     Integrative genomics of milling and baking quality traits.
4)     Develop, test and implement novel prediction models using genomic profiles combined with ‘omics data as predictor variables and/or correlated predictive phenotypes.