Seeds of Discovery (SeeD), CIMMYT: Unlocking the useful genetic variation from genebanks for wheat improvement - 2013 - p. 63
Improvements in DNA-sequencing technologies will potentially unlock useful crop genetic variation. We aim to enhance the use of the CIMMYT germplasm collections by making exotic genetic variation more accessible for breeding and research programs to develop improved cultivars more speedily. The Seeds of Discovery (SeeD) project (http://seedsofdiscovery.org), one of several MasAgro projects supported by the Government of Mexico, will allow researchers to ?see into seeds? with the aim of diversifying the ?genetic portfolio? of wheat breeding programs. Genome-profiling approximately 120,000 accessions of CIMMYT?s wheat genebank is underway using Genotyping-by-sequencing (GBS) technology. This approach reduces ascertainment bias, a key feature when describing underexplored gene pools. The genotype data is being used to assess genetic diversity among accessions and to create sub-groups to achieve maximum allelic diversity. A major focus of SeeD focuses on breeding applications, with the linking of genetic data to phenotypic performance. Key performance assessments include heat and drought tolerance, grain yield potential, Phosphorus use efficiency, grain-quality characters, and resistance to various diseases. To lower the barriers to assembling novel genetic variation into breeding programs, we will identify genetically diverse ?donor accessions? with favorable traits, using a combination of genotypic and phenotypic data. These will then be used to develop ?connecting germplasm? for introducing novel, favorable alleles introgressed into adapted genetic backgrounds.