Applied breeding and breeding research programs often utilize one or more DNA marker technologies to aid the incorporation valuable traits into improved crop cultivars, and/or or genetically dissect valuable traits.
Many traits important in the development of cultivars can be difficult to measure or are environmentally sensitive, which makes it difficult to make progress in breeding programs. DNA marker technology aids in overcoming these limitations by using a small amount of seed or leaf tissue from a plant to perform an easily interpreted laboratory test for indicating the likelihood of having the trait of interest. Because it is difficult to combine numerous important traits simultaneously into cultivars, marker-assisted breeding gives geneticists a versatile set of tools that can augment, as well as verify, traditional selection techniques.
- Genomics and molecular genetics of crop plants for better understanding of how plant genomes are structured, organized, evolve and function at the whole-genome level
- Develop integrated genomic tools for enhanced and continued crop genetic improvement and variety breeding
- Application of molecular genetic techniques with emphasis in molecular markers, to complement and advance breeding programs and to understand crop genetic architecture
- Development, evaluation and utilization of molecular markers with emphasis in areas such as high-throughput marker assisted selection, identification and tagging of genes that affect important economic traits, and allele mining
- Basic and practical needs related to plant reproductive genetics or biology, evolution, chromosome biology and cytogenetic manipulation, genomics, genetic barriers to introgression, or other processes that impact our ability to genetically analyze, manipulate and improve plants
Faculty and Staff
Related Sites of Interest
- AgriGenomics Laboratory
- Laboratory for Plant Genomics & GENEfinder Genomic Resource
- Maize Breeding and Genetics Program
- Texas AgriLife Research
Learn More About Research Areas of Focus in Soil and Crop Sciences
In the realm of soil and crop sciences, research focuses on a myriad of critical areas that drive sustainable agricultural practices and global food security. Soil health and management take center stage, exploring ways to optimize soil fertility, structure, and nutrient cycling to enhance crop productivity. Genetic advancements in crop breeding and biotechnology are pursued to develop resilient varieties that withstand environmental stressors and ensure high yields. Precision agriculture, integrating technology and data analytics, aims to fine-tune farming practices, reducing resource waste and maximizing efficiency. The exploration of sustainable agroecosystems delves into the intricate relationships between crops, soil, and the environment, fostering environmentally friendly approaches. Such research not only informs farming practices but also contributes to vital policy discussions, shaping the future of agriculture in a rapidly changing world.