Get Set for a Whole New Era of Wheat Breeding


When asked about what the next five to 10 years hold for wheat breeding, Jesse Poland, a research geneticist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service, says he expects to see more segmentation between the commodity crop and the niche, high-value markets. But the next big thing, he says, is completing the wheat genome, which should be done yet this year. Once breeders have access to that, get set for a whole new era of wheat breeding.

Polland’s research focuses on disease resistance, molecular breeding and quantitative genetics. As part of his position, he’s also an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University. Poland earned his doctorate in plant breeding and genetics at Cornell University in 2010, a master’s in plant pathology from Kansas State University and his bachelor’s in agronomy, also from Kansas State University.

Check out the video to learn more about Polland and his views on the wheat industry as he sits down with Shawn Brook, Seed World publisher, at the National Association of Plant Breeders annual meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina. You’ll hear his take on private sector investment and learn what he’s doing with high-throughput phenotyping to put low-cost tools in the hands of plant breeders in developing countries.

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