Project Details

Shared industrial-scale low-density SNP genotyping for CGIAR and partner breeding programs serving SSA and SA

Duration: 12/Nov/2015 - 31/Dec/2017

Locations: Asia / Eastern and Southern Africa / West and Central Africa

Project contact: Dr Rajeev K Varshney (R.K.Varshney@CGIAR.ORG)

Donor: Foundation or Trust,Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation-USA

CGIAR Research Program: Grain Legumes

Development of crop varieties using conventional breeding approaches has been effective but time consuming and labor intensive. Recent advances in genomics and molecular breeding technologies provide new opportunities to accelerate breeding approaches and open up a new area of breeding. Multinational seed and breeding companies (e.g., Monsanto, DuPont-Pioneer) have been successful in deploying genomics and molecular breeding technologies in a routine manner in their breeding programs. However, the public sector breeding programs have been falling behind, mainly due to large infrastructure requirements and technical expertise for running highly automated and cost effective sequencing/genotyping facilities that drop the cost of genotyping to a level to be routinely affordable to breeders. Public sector (e.g. CGIAR) research programs, though, are using the markers, their application is mainly restricted to genetics research and gene discovery purposes. Only limited use of markers has happened in select CGIAR breeding programs. Moreover, at present, markers are being used only in donor-funded projects. Availability of genotyping data in a short time window so that breeders can select lines for crossing is another major issue in the public sector breeding programs. Therefore with the limited use of markers, genetic gain achieved in CGIAR breeding programs is lower than expected.

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