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Buckler Lab and CHIBAS Complete Third Cycle of Genomic Selection in Sorghum Breeding Program

Sarah Jensen (graduate student in the Buckler Lab) with young plants in the genomic selection trial at CHIBAS.

Buckler Lab members Sarah Jensen and Guillaume Ramstein recently helped Dr. Gael Pressior, Executive Director of CHIBAS Bioenergy and former lab member, complete a third round of genomic selection in the CHIBAS sorghum breeding program in Port au Prince, Haiti.

Genomic selection can make the CHIBAS sorghum breeding program run three

times faster than traditional phenotypic selection, but the costs and logistical challenges of genomic selection can be prohibitive and have prevented breeding programs in developing countries from adopting the technology.

Together with Dr. Pressoir, the Buckler Lab is working to find cheap and accessible genotyping options for CHIBAS. Most recently, we used library preparation and sequencing services at Cornell University’s Institute of Biotechnology to produce marker data for over 2,500 plants in the breeding population.

Thanks to the hard work of Peter Schweitzer and the BRC Genomics Facility, we were able to go from initial tissue collection to finalized genotype data in only five weeks. This was just

Bags are placed over sorghum panicles in the field to prevent stray pollen from contaminating a cross.

in time for Dr. Pressoir to use the resulting genotypes to inform his breeding decisions and select the best plants for future breeding cycles.

Panicles for each variety are harvested and weighed to find the highest-yielding individuals.


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