May 18, 2024


The University of California Davis will serve as the lead institution. Heather Kawakami, who administered the WheatCAP subcontracts, will be the contact person at UC Davis, providing long-term experience in the administration of multi-institutional projects. Drs. J. Dubcovsky and G. Muehlbauer, the previous directors of the wheat and barley coordinated agricultural projects (CAPs), respectively, will alternate every year as project director and co-director and will monitor the advancement of the project through monthly conference calls with an executive committee formed by the coordinators of the different activities (Fig. 1, page 3). At the end of each year the project director and co-director will request confidential input from all the teams to decide if changes in area coordinators are necessary. Members of our groups have been working together for many years in a productive and collegial way so we do not anticipate major problems. However, in case of conflict, the executive committee will  make decisions by simple majority vote of its members including the director and co-director that will have equal vote as the rest of the members of the committee.

The project director and co-director will be the official contacts for the project and will be responsible for the budgets and reporting activities, and the organization of one  annual meeting at Plant & Animal Genome in San Diego, CA. Annual progress reports and work plans will be submitted by all project participants and reviewed by the project directors and team leaders. Annual funding will be contingent upon adequate progress and appropriate work plans. Germplasm phenotyping, genotyping and NAM population development described in Objective 1 will be coordinated by a large team. The barley and wheat leaders for each of the phenotyping and genotyping groups will meet monthly online with their teams to promote a creative discussion among participants, standardize procedures, coordinate subprojects and publications, provide general guidance, and ensure the timely completion of all research and educational objectives. Dr. Jianli Chen (University of Idaho) and the NSGC project leader Dr. Mike Bonman (USDA-ARS Aberdeen) will be responsible for the NSGC phenotyping for WUE and NUE and for transferring the information to the GRIN databases. 

Drs. Luther Talbert (Montana State University, wheat) and Pat Hayes (Oregon State University, barley) will coordinate the WUE phenotyping team. Drs. Clay Sneller (The Ohio State University, wheat) and Kevin Smith (University of Minnesota, barley) will coordinate the NUE and yield phenotyping teams. Smith and Talbert will coordinate the NAM population development. Drs. Mike Pumphrey (Washington State University) and Brian Steffenson (University of Minnesota) will coordinate the germplasm evaluation for disease resistance. For wheat, stripe rust resistance will be evaluated by Dr. X. Chen at the USDA-ARS facility in Pullman plus APR field evaluations in CA, OR, WA, and KS. For stem and leaf rust evaluations will be conducted by Dr. Y. Jin and Dr. J. Kolmer at USDA-ARS facility in St. Paul, and APR field evaluations in TX, OK, KS, and MN. For barley, stripe rust resistance will be evaluated by P. Hayes at OSU; stem rust evaluations by B. Steffenson at UM in St. Paul (for domestic races) and Kenya (for race Ug99); resistance to the spot form of net blotch will be evaluated by Dr. R. Bruggeman and Dr. T. Friesen, (NDSU and USDA-ARS, Fargo). Resistance to the new race of spot blotch will be evaluated by Dr. S. Zhong (NDSU) under controlled conditions. 

Marker-assisted selection, genomic selection and genotyping described in Objective 2 of the proposal will be coordinated by Drs. Gina Brown-Guedira (USDA-ARS, Raleigh, NC) and Jean-Luc Jannink (USDA-ARS, Ithaca, NY). Brown-Guedira will coordinate the activities between Management Plan high-throughput genotyping centers and the breeding programs. All four genotyping centers will participate in this project, with the Fargo ND lab specializing in the 1,536 and 3,072 SNP Illumina platform assays and the Raleigh, Manhattan and Pullman laboratories specializing in the development and implementation of the 48 and 384 SNP platforms. Jannink will supervise, provide quantitative genetics expertise, and help coordinate the genomic selection activities. 

Development and implementation of genotyping-by-sequencing approaches described in Objective 3 will be coordinated by Drs. Eduard Akhunov (Kansas State University) and Timothy Close (UC, Riverside) with support from the programming team directed by Mark Sorrells and Jean-Luc Jannink. For Objective 4, Drs. Mark Sorrells (Cornell University) and Jean-Luc Jannink will be responsible for project database  administration, development of computer tools for data curation, analysis and visualization, and for the supervision of the database curators and programmers. This team will assist breeders in the implementation of molecular breeding methods and tools. They will also be responsible for the coordination of the activities of this project with GrainGenes, GRIN and Gramene. Dr. Dave Matthews will be the contact person at GrainGenes in Cornell and Dr. Mike Bonman the contact at GRIN. 

The education activities in Objective 5 will be coordinated by Dr. Jamie Sherman (Montana State University), previous educational coordinator of the wheat CAP, and Dr. Mary Brakke an Education Specialist at the Univ. of Minnesota. Sherman will serve in the Executive Committee and will act as liaison between the education program, researchers and the Educational advisory board and evaluators. Sherman will oversee the graduate program and the centralized trainings. Brakke will oversee the undergraduate program and outreach to MSIs and a workshop on PBL, instructional methods and assessment tools. Don Lee, Univ. Nebraska (UNL) in cooperation with MSI teachers will be responsible for the web materials and PBL modules. Dr. Deana Namuth-Covert will administer the PBTN that will be housed on UNL servers, and coordinate activities with eXtension. Patrick Byrne (Colorado St. Univ.) will coordinate the WUE workshop. 

An educational advisory board will review plans, evaluate annual reports, and provide feedback. The following individuals have agreed to serve on this panel: A. Van Deynze (Plant Breeding Academy and Chair of Communications committee PBCC), Robin Wright (UM- Undergraduate education expert), Philipp W. Simon (Chair of PBCC), and Valerie Williams (UM– Minority Serving Institution expert). In addition, two professional educational evaluators will supervise the educational activities of the project. Dr. Frances Lawrenz, professor in Educational Psychology, UM, with expertise in science education evaluation and Mr. Eric Moore, professional evaluator and Ph.D. candidate in education evaluation, along with two half-time graduate students that will perform controlled studies in targeted areas. The professional evaluators will develop evaluation tools, collect data, and determine progress in the different educational objectives. We are involving public and private plant breeders from outside the project to insure our education efforts are broadly applicable (see Pioneer and Monsanto letters).

We plan to share the results of recruitment and training with the broader plant breeding community through presentations and publications. Also, the students trained will become the disseminators of education efforts by applying when they become educators.

A scientific advisory board will review and advise the group in scientific matters and an industry liaison committee will be responsible to ensure the impact of the research generated in this project to the barley and wheat industry. The Scientific Advisory board members include Dr. Ed Buckler (Cornell University), Dr. Matthew Reynolds (CIMMYT), Dr. Peter Langridge Management Plan (Australian Centre for Plant Functional Genomics), Dr. Nicholas Tinker (Agri-Food Canada), Dr. Julie Ho (Pioneer), Dr. Robbie Waugh (Scottish Crop Research Institute), Dr. Mike Davis (American Malting Barley Association), and Jay Romsa (General Mills). Dr. Ed Souza will facilitate the relationships with the Industry Liaison Committee (ILC), which will provide feedback on the barley and wheat industry needs and priorities. This feedback will be distributed to PIs directly and in the annual report. The ILC will recommend and invite PIs to present results at national and regional industry meetings. The current ILC members include: Jane DeMarchi – Technology Director, National Association of Wheat Growers (NAWG), North American Millers Association (NAMA, rotating members of Research Committee), Kelly Olson – Executive Director, Idaho Wheat, Marvin Zutz – Executive Director, Minnesota Barley Research and Promotion Council, Rebecca Jennings – Technical Director, Rahr Malting Company, and Gary Hanning – Director of Research, Busch Agricultural Resources, LLC.