University of Bristol - Wheat genomics case study
Read more about why Professor Keith Edwards at Bristol University said “We selected LGC’s KASP genotyping chemistry because it was the only platform on the market that could overcome our challenges. We had confidence in the technological ability of KASP to increase our quality of data, ensuring the accuracy and efficiency of our findings, in addition to improving the credibility and validity of our studies. We worked closely with LGC to both validate SNPs as a marker system in wheat and transfer the SNP markers, as working assays, to UK wheat breeders.”
Wheat is one of the three most important crops for human and livestock feed, and with food supply an increasing global concern, the pressure is on to increase cereal crop production as a solution to feeding the growing world population. It has been estimated that the demand on cereal production will increase by 50% by 2030; scientists and breeders alike must now look to understanding the genetic make-up of wheat to help maximise its growing potential.
Industry challenge: struggling to meet a growing demand
Compared with other crops, the increase in wheat yields has slowed since the ‘green revolution’ of the 20th century due to the domestication of the crop.
This domestication of wheat has resulted in a decline of genetic diversity and it has been suggested that in order to increase it, genes from ‘wild relatives’ of the crop could be introduced. However such strategies often referred to as pre-breeding, can be resource intensive.
Aside from the challenge of meeting a growing global demand for wheat, the crop is also vulnerable to pests and disease. To combat this, researchers need to identify genes within the wheat genome that can provide a strong and durable resistance; access to new screening technology is essential in defending it from this and other threats and to sustainably produce sufficient and safe food.
The LGC wheat genotyping panel, developed in conjunction with the University of Bristol, School of Biological Sciences UK, contains over 7,000 functionally validated SNP assays that breeders and scientists can use to enable the development of precision breeding in wheat hybrids. The panel offers pre-validated assays thus facilitating cost benefits, guaranteed performance and fast delivery.