Grant awarded: Patrick Krysan receives NIFA AFRI funding to improve breeding hybrid carrot cultivars

News source: eCALS

A research team led by Patrick Krysan, chair and professor of horticulture, recently received funding for a project titled “Haploid inducers for hybrid carrot breeding” through NIFA AFRI’s Plant Breeding and Cultivar Development programs. It was among 9 projects that shared  $5.5 million in funding.

Project description (from CRIS website): The overall goal of this project is to complete the development of haploid inducer lines for carrot and then perform a pilot breeding study to evaluate their potential to accelerate the process of breeding hybrid cultivars. Although hybrid cultivars are a cornerstone of modern crop production because of their high yield and uniformity, developing the inbred parental lines needed to produce hybrid seed is a slow process. The haploid induction system we propose to develop and test promises to cut years off the plant breeding cycle. We will produce these haploid inducer lines by using gene editing technology to introduce targeted mutations into a specific gene known to control the function of chromosomes in other plant species.This project directly addresses USDA Priority Area 1. “Global food security and food availability” by establishing a new tool for dramatically streamlining the breeding of hybrid carrots, thereby allowing plant breeders to be more nimble in their efforts to boost the sustainability of carrot production while also responding to changing consumer preferences.