Project Title: Evaluation of recurrent selection as a method to achieve rapid re-adaptation of faba bean to a niche agro-climate
Overview: During this 4-year project we aim to optimise faba bean yield for the peculiar Irish weather conditions. Empirically, a recurrent selection scheme in which the progeny of the best-performing plants from each selective generation are pooled to seed the subsequent generation has been established and a high outcrossing rate is maintained in all generations by use of captive bumblebees during flowering. Selections made from each generation are monitored both phenotypically and genotypically on an individual plant basis allowing rates of genetic gain in phenotypic performance and shifts in genome-wide allele frequency to be detected. Theoretically, we simulate breeding data that allow us to predict the response of different parameters when designing a breeding scheme. The population is also tested for chocolate spot resistance as it remains a severe threat for farmers.
It is an interesting low-cost miniature breeding project and I believe that will develop my skills and prepare me for a future career in plant breeding.
Programme Area: Crops, Breeding, Breeding Simulations, Disease Testing
Supervisors: Sheila Alves and Donal O'Sullivan
Location: Teagasc, Oak Park, Co. Carlow
Funding Source: DAFM Stimulus Fund