Project Title: Developing components for successful deployment of Fixation-Restitution Breeding in potato
Overview: We live in challenging times, where climate change is set to impact global crop production
radically. High temperature, flooding, drought, and salinity will impact yield. Climate change may result in shorter life cycles and increased geographical range for pests and pathogens that can devastate the agricultural crops. Breeding better crop varieties will offer an innate capacity to resist these challenges.
Lea’s research and breeding industry experiences have led her to develop a great interest in creating innovative, genomics-based tools for breeding, accessible to the commercial breeding community.
Currently, potato breeding is a slow and frustrating activity. Breeders have to combine potentially 50 important traits, and commercial potato varieties are tetraploid, making the process of developing new varieties very difficult.
Fixation-Restitution Breeding (https://diffugat.eu/) is a novel approach that allows the rapid
accumulation of important traits at the diploid level, due to simpler genetics, and transfer of these traits to tetraploid varieties in conventional breeding programs.
In her current research, Lea seeks to create tools and resources, such as genetic markers and diploid breeding lines with important characteristics. These will underpin a future capacity to support this novel breeding approach and develop sustainable high-quality potato varieties in the future.
Programme Area: Crop Genomics/ Genetic Improvement of Tillage Crops
Supervisors: Dr Dan Milbourne, Teagasc and Dr ir. HJ van Eck, Wageningen University
Location: Oak Park Teagasc
Funding Source: Teagasc