for Plant Breeding
Jim is a plant breeder at a leading Agricultural University in North America. Over the past 20 years he has continued to conduct breeding programs to improve the quality and quantity of yields, increase abiotic stress tolerance, introgress pest and disease resistance into modern varieties, and transfer biotech traits into desired species.
He uses marker-assisted selection to ensure that only the individuals with specific potential are identified and subjected to field-selection and evaluation. The available genetic tests help him reject unwanted individuals in order to utilize breeding resources efficiently.
The crossing of diverse parental cultivars leads to the establishment of segregating progenies. Upon evaluation, the individuals in these segregated populations that show variations in the target phenotypes are selected. Then, individuals with superior phenotypes then move on to advanced generations and are subjected to further selections. Since individuals in the segregating populations show phenotypic diversity for target traits, they must also show variation in photosynthetic capabilities. For example, challenging a back cross population with a mighty pathogen would change the status of photosynthesis. The resistant progeny shows less deviation, whereas sensitive progeny deviate much more.
It was a long-standing challenge to measure the deviations of photosynthesis in his breeding populations. Then he heard about PhotosynQ and decided to try it with his diverse breeding populations. He was amazed by its power to measure the status of photosynthesis in a plant leaf within 15-20 seconds. The metadata generated with his measurements helped him to see the correlation of photosynthetic traits to the phenotypic characteristics. For example, in breeding for disease resistance, he now knows how the photosynthetic machinery changes in individual progenies when challenged with biotic stress even before symptoms appear. With PhotosynQ, Jim was able to accelerate his breeding program and continue to produce new varieties in record times.