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Plant Breeding, Genetics, & Genomics

Wheat CAP Educational Impact

The Wheat Coordinated Agricultural Project (CAP) is a multi-state, multi-institutional project funded by NIFA’ National Research Initiative dedicated to the genetic improvement of U.S. wheat through research, education, and extension. Wheat CAP involves 25 public wheat-breeding programs and is led by Project Director Jorge Dubcovsky, plant breeder and geneticist at the University of California-–Davis. During the project’s first 2 years, participants of Wheat CAP trained 16 high school students, 59 undergraduate students, and 50 graduate students on wheat breeding and marker assisted selection (MAS).

Wheat CAP Ph.D. student C. Uauy received the 2006-07 Distinguished Dissertation Award in biological and life sciences from the Council of Graduate Schools. Among the students who have completed the Wheat CAP program:

  • eight undergraduates are in graduate school;

  • three undergraduates and one graduate student are employed in technical positions at universities;

  • four undergraduates and five graduate students work in breeding and large seed companies; and

  • one undergraduate and four graduate students are in agricultural business. 

Wheat CAP education activities include formal training courses on mapping and quality trait loci analyses; "Combine to Kitchen" educational trips that increase student appreciation of job opportunities in agriculture; a MAS workshop for Future Farmers of America; a MAS demonstration at a meeting of Montana Tribal Colleges Science Teachers; and educational and recruiting animations for plant breeding and MAS posted on the Wheat CAP educational page.
For more information, see the Wheat CAP newsletter or contact Ed Kaleikau, the NIFA national program leader for the Plant Genome CAP Program.


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