Thanks to the development and adoption of specialized computational tools, the past several years have seen major advancements in the breeding of “polyploid plants” — plants with more than two sets of chromosomes in their cells.
Polyploid specialty crops, which include roses, many turfgrasses and food crops such as blackberries, potatoes and sweet potatoes, have an annual value of more than $9 billion in the U.S. and many times that value globally. David Byrne, a Texas A&M AgriLife Research rose breeder and geneticist who also serves as a professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences, is the director of a four-year, NIFA grant-funded project to create and improve software for polyploid genetic analysis.
Featured Image: David Byrne, Texas A&M AgriLife Research rose breeder and geneticist, is director of a grant-funded project that is a “game changer” for polyploid plant breeding. Credit; Sam Craft/Texas A&M AgriLife Communications