M i s c a n t h u s B r e e d i n g
What we are doing...
Success in novel plant breeding ventures such as those undertaken by the research team at IBERS require projects to be based on genetically diverse germplasm, detailed phenotype information, molecular genome characterisation, gene-trait associations and sound yield assessment; all of which have been initiated and developed in previous and on going projects funded by DEFRA, BBSRC and Ceres.
Now is the time to combine these efforts into a progressive targeted breeding programme based on commercial objectives.
and how we do it...
Projection by modelling
Agronomy & commercialisation
Genetic variation is the basis of any breeding programme
Since 2004 IBERS scientists have built up one of the largest x-situ germplasm collections of Miscanthus outside of Asia.
IBERS scientists have worked with partners in Asian countries to representatively sample variation throughout Eastern Asia (below).
Seedlings are raised from seed sown in the glasshouse in modules and then are planted in space plant nurseries and in small un-replicated plot trials.
Promising hybrids are identified after 2 to 3 years depending on the location where the trial is planted, these are promoted to larger replicated plot trials.
Field trial, climate and soil data are combined to produce modelling process descriptions for a range of yield traits e.g. over winter frost tolerance, canopy closure and flowering time. The models are used to project yield spatially for different hybrids to match the best genotype to the right environmental conditions.
These projections are useful to planners, policy makers and the bio-energy industry.
Our main collaborator is Dr Astley Hastings of the University of Aberdeen.
Outstanding hybrids from the breeding programme will not reach the market unless the agronomy package has been defined to establish a reliable crop in the field cost effectively.
We are working hard with industry partners to ensure the reliability of crop establishment, a high standard of crop management through the supply chain to end users.
M i s c a n t h u s B r e e d i n g t o p r o v i d e s u s t a i n a b l e g l o b a l b i o e n e r g y f o r t h e f u t u r e