Central & Southern Plains

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Double- Haploid Project

Monsanto’s Wheat Doubled-Haploid (DH) Project is presently a five -members team lead by Dr. Maria Mendoza. Its operations were initiated in February 2010 in Creve Coeur-St Louis utilizing facilities provided by Monsanto colleagues from different crops and disciplines. Months later, plant materials and operations were transferred to the newly renovated facilities in Wichita-KS, and inaugurated on November 17th of that year.

This Project has been incorporated into the WestBred Wheat Breeding Program to help the breeders to accelerate the process of cultivar development by producing completely homozygous plants in only one generation cycle. Integrated with a Marker Assisted Selection Strategy, this technology potentially increases the genetic gain by increasing the selection efficiency and reducing the time for cultivar development by 4-5 years, a process which using only the conventional breeding approach takes about 10-12 years.

The Wheat DH-Project is being implemented with a vernalization room, two AC Greenhouses and Conviron settings to grow wheat and corn donor plants, perform the wide crosses, and grow DH plants generated by the haploidization process. It also includes lab facilities including with a pre-culture room, a culture room with straddle hoods to perform sterile embryo culture, and controlled growth chambers for embryo incubation and DH-seedlings development under ‘In vitro’ conditions.

This Project utilizes an intergeneric hybridization system of crosses of wheat x corn, which capitalizes the phenomenon of chromosome elimination to generate wheat embryos and then haploid plants containing half of the chromosome number. Following chromosome doubling using colchicine, haploid plants become double–haploids (DHs).