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Plant Breeding, Genetics, & Genomics

Barley CAP Association Genetics, Marker-Assisted Selection Workshop 2009

The NIFA-funded Barley Coordinated Agriculture Project (CAP) held a 3-day workshop on Association Genetics and Marker-Assisted Selection, August 19-21, 2009, at the University of Minnesota, St. Paul. Thirty-seven people participated in the workshop including faculty, USDA scientists, industry scientists, graduate students, technicians, and post docs. Over half the participants were affiliated with the Barley CAP. Some participants from the Wheat and Rice CAPs also attended. Five scholarships for graduate students to attend the workshop were awarded by Barley CAP.

The instructors who led the intense 3-day workshop demonstrating the latest technology in Association Mapping and Marker-Assisted Selection included Kevin Smith (U Minnesota), Jean-Luc Jannink (USDA-ARS, Cornell), Shaioman Chao (USDA-ARS, North Dakota), Rex Bernardo (U Minnesota), Peter Bradbury (Cornell University), and David Marshall (Scottish Crop Research Institute).

This year’s workshop emphasized using the software TASSEL for association mapping. Peter Bradbury joined the group of instructors and helped guide participants through a hands-on association mapping session. In addition, Dave Marshall from SCRI demonstrated two new Java applications, FlapJack and CurlyWhirly, which were designed to visualize genotype and phenotype data.

The participants had a wide range of experience with the topics covered in the workshop -- some were relatively unfamiliar with mapping while others had extensive experience and background in some of the covered areas. The mixture of expertise in the topics covered made for great interaction with lots of opportunity to draw on experiences.

Response from the participants was positive. Many seem to appreciate the expanded time available for hands-on data analysis during the workshop. The instructors are discussing ways to continue this workshop beyond the Barley CAP funding period.


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