Some people seem to be made for each other. But what about grasses – does the perfect couple exist? A new research project called “GreenSelect” is aiming to answer that particular question.
Matching grass to boost yield and nitrogen use efficiency
Many people undoubtedly as themselves: How do I find the best partner? Well, breeders at DLF ask themselves the same question on behalf of the forage grass they are improving each year. Is it possible to localize the perfect match that will always ensure the best offspring? In order to answer the question the breeders have teamed up with scientists at Aarhus University in Denmark. Together, they will test more than 500 crossing combinations in order to find exactly those grass plants that give birth to the highest yielding- and most nitrogen use efficient (NUE) offspring. While this is not breaking science, it definitely is investigating how two genetic profiles should look in order to for the optimum match.
By the use of genome wide selection (GWS), which is now part of DLFs forage breeding program, it is possible to predict a plants performance in relation to yield, disease resistance, digestibility, etc., based on its genetic profile. The new research will allow breeders to predict whether a cross between two parent plants will become a success or not. Such information will help streamlining the breeding process and produce new high yielding NUE varieties for the benefit of farm gate economy, the environment, and our climate.
The project also include Tystoftefonden, who will conduct field trials for NUE determination. The project will run over the next four years. It has a total budget of 2.3 M € of which 1.8 M € is financed by GUDP.