Breeding Technologies

New Plant Breeding Technology
Site-directed mutagenesis in barley for quality improvement. CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) - associated protein Cas9 nuclease is a genome editing tool that can create precise mutations and gene knock-outs in any organism of choice. The system uses a customized single guide RNA (sgRNA) to target a complementary strand and create double stranded breaks. However not all sgRNAs are active and therefore in a current Phd project the activity is tested in protoplast isolated from Brachypodium and barley before the actual plant transformation takes place. Cecilie Skovlund Løgi Christensen, photo barley protoplast.

(Targeting Induced Local Lesions in Genomes) is an effective method that can be
used to screen for induced mutations in a gene of interest. TILLING platforms
have been established in our laboratory for the cereal species wheat and barley
as well as for the model grass Brachypodium distachyon. These methods are used
to screen for mutations in genes involved in phytic acid biosynthesis in wheat
and barley, disease resistance in barley and biomass production in Brachypodium
(Contacts Louise de Bang, Anna Maria Torp and Søren K. Rasmussen).

Gene Discovery
Gene discovery using conventional QTL mapping or GWAS (Genome wide Association Study) is used to identify and characterize QTL controlling complex quantitative traits.  Besides improved understanding of the genes underlying a complex trait such methods have also provided selection markers that can be used in breeding. In addition we also work on genomic selection where a large number of SNP markers are used to predict the performance of individuals. (Contacts  Pernille Louise Malik, Theresa Asabea Ayirebi, Weiyao Fan, Anna Maria Torp and Søren K. Rasmussen).

Plant Genetic Resources
We have large collection of European spring and winter barley, a historic Nordic wheat variety collection, large collection of winter wheat including synthetic lines, mutant population in barley and wheat. We have also made a subpopulation of +300 pea lines from the Nordic GenBank and a mutant collection in ‘Laser’. Collection in carrots and new polycross populations. Brachypodium mutant