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Predictive Breeding

The 3-year plan developed by the GENETICS team is now completed and the launch of new genomic-based tools goes live!


Genome-wide association study & MARKER-ASSISTED SELECTION (GWAS & MAS)

Every year, thousands of barley and wheat lines are tested in nurseries and yield trials across Europe. Using genome-wide markers, major quantitative trait loci (QTLs) can be identified and subsequently applied in breeding to perform marker-assisted selection (MAS). To date, our breeders have more than 120 QTLs in their hands to preselect early-stage material for key traits.


All breeders have now adopted another important tool to deal with complex agronomic traits: genomic selection (GS). Using the same genome-wide markers and lots of phenotypic data, we build prediction equations that can be applied to new unobserved material. Every year, more than 30,000 barley and wheat candidates are pre-screened for yield, grain quality, malting quality, backing quality, disease resistances and other agronomic traits via GS.


cross selection

It’s better to start with the right cross! Now, combining meiotic-recombination simulation and GS, our breeders have the possibility to simulate Millions of progenies. We can simulate new crosses but also reproduce in silico some old ones from which varieties have been developed. From the predictions, we prioritize the best crosses but also monitor the genetic variance. With the GENETICS toolbox, Secobra breeders move into predictive breeding 2.0 – we breed more intensively, with high accuracy and faster.