Location: Plant Science Research
2013 Annual Report
2. Evaluate a wide diversity of unadapted sub-tropical and tropical maize germplasm for adaptation, yield, and disease resistance.
3. Breed and release genetically-enhanced maize populations and lines, derived from unadapted sub-tropical and tropical maize germplasm, that can contribute to new commercial hybrids, more diverse genetic resistance to biotic stresses, superior yield and other valuable new traits.
3A. Breed and release genetically-enhanced maize lines, derived from unadapted sub-tropical and tropical maize germplasm, that can contribute diverse and valuable new traits to commercial and public breeding programs.
3B. Develop and release a novel set of “adapted” maize races resulting from the allelic diversity (AD) program as tools for gene discovery and genomic research.
Approximately 2100 GEM nursery rows and 800 isolation rows were planted in summer 2013 at Raleigh. Nursery work involved nineteen different GEM breeding crosses, while one hundred other breeding crosses were observed for agronomic traits of interest and one hundred and ten were included in yield trials to prioritize further utilization. Disease evaluation continues in 2013 for Gray Leaf Spot, where advanced materials were evaluated at three locations in North Carolina (Laurel Springs, Andrews and Salisbury). One hundred and five publically available tropical inbred lines were included in yield trials in 2013 to evaluate agronomic performance.
Over 400 nursery rows in Raleigh were devoted to further increasing the genetic diversity in maize through identification of useful alleles in exotic germplasm, which involves accessions that are outside the core plant breeding materials utilized by GEM and most plant breeding organizations. These accessions may contain valuable alleles of interest to breeders that would otherwise not be utilized due to the difficulties in growing tropical germplasm per se in the Corn Belt. The new crosses represent about 65 accessions. The initial steps of the project are coordinated from Raleigh, and the latter steps through Ames, IA; the germplasm produced in Raleigh last summer has been planted by the GEM coordinator in Ames, IA and by GEM cooperators at two locations in Illinois.