Breeding and Genetics

Our research teams have generated high-yielding pennycress breeding lines through multi-state testing and identified/validated trait-improving mutations and natural variants. Throughout the project, we will:

  • Utilize marker-assisted selection and CRISPR gene editing to complete introgression of these traits into elite breeding lines.
  • Extend our replicated yield testing program to a cooperative regional program and rapidly identify the best lines for each Midwest location (IL, MN, OH, WI) in conjunction with a commercial launch.
  • Perform field evaluations and seed increases of lines with commercial potential.
  • Develop additional genetic/genomic resources for long-term breeding program success

Patents

Research Goal: Pennycress Improvement

Our work involves the combined efforts of breeders, bioinformaticists, agronomists, geneticists, biochemists, and farmers affiliated with four pennycress breeding programs: Illinois State UniversityUniversity of Minnesota, Western Illinois University, and CoverCress, IncWe are joining forces to rapidly develop elite pennycress varieties with superior traits best adapted for each region where pennycress will be grown commercially.

  • Development of Adapted Breeding Lines
  • Development of Domestication Traits
  • Introgression of Domestication Traits into Adapted Breeding Lines
  • Multi-State Yield Evaluations and Seed Increases
  • Development of Additional Genetic and Genomic Resources

Team

Leadership

  • Julia Zhang, Co-PI & LEAD – MN Genomics Efforts, Univ. of Minnesota
  • John C. Sedbrook, Co-PI & LEAD Southern Genetics, Illinois State Univ.

Collaborators & Graduate Students

  • Jim Anderson, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Carol Kiam Assato, Illinois State Univ. (Grad. Student)
  • Kevin Cook (CoverCress, Inc.)
  • Anthony Brusa, University of Minnesota (PostDoctoral Associate)
  • Ratan Chopra, CoverCress, Inc.
  • Liza Gautam, Illinois State Univ. (Grad. Student)
  • Brett Heim, University of Minnesota
  • Nikhil Jaikumar, Illinois State Univ. (PostDoc)
  • Aaron Lorenz, Univ. of Minnesota (LEAD – Northern SELECT)
  • Shahriar Mahmud, Illinois State Univ. (Grad. Student)
  • Danny Marchiafava, Illinois State Univ. (Grad. Student)
  • David Marks, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Mark Messmer, CoverCress, Inc.
  • Matthew A. Ott, Univ. of Minnesota (Grad. Student)
  • Mary Phippen, Western Illinois Univ. (Seed Oil Analysis)
  • Win Phippen, Western Illinois Univ.
  • Krishan Mohan Rai, CoverCress, Inc.
  • Lucas Roberts, Univ. of Minnesota (Grad. Student)
  • Tim Ulmasov, CoverCress, Inc.
  • Tad Wesley, Western Illinois Univ.
  • Jeffrey Wilson, CoverCress, Inc.
  • Julia Zhang, Univ. of Minnesota

2020, 2021 & 2022 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience

  • Clair Biel, 2020 & 2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Joseph Brandhorst, 2022 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Kent State University
  • Serena Gjesvold, 2020 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Juan Gonzalez, 2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Virginia Tech
  • Alex Hafner, 2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Illinois State Univ.
  • Terryn Hutchings, 2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, UC Davis
  • Tori Jones, 2022 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Auburn University
  • Justin Larkin, 2020 IPS-URE Undergrad. Research Fellow, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Ella Lyon, 2022 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Colorado School of Mines
  • Marshah Menos, 2021 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Univ. of Florida
  • Mitchell Polk, IPS-URE Intern, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Hayley Reuter, 2022 Integrated Plant Systems – Undergraduate Research Experience, Univ. of Minnesota
  • Joe Rickman, 2020 IPS-URE Intern, Univ. of Minnesota

Alumni

  • Heba Hamdy Abouseada, Fulbright Scholar, Illinois State Univ.(2021)
  • Maliheh Esfahanian Illinois State Univ. (Grad. Student 2019-2020)
  • Katherine Frels, Collaborator (2019-2020)
  • Brice Jarvis, Illinois State Univ. (Grad. Student 2019-2021)
  • Michaela McGinn, Genetic & Regulatory Consultant (2019-2021)
  • Deepika Mishra, Collaborator, CoverCress, Inc. (2019-2020)
  • Zenith Tandukar, Univ. of Minnesota (Grad. Student 2019-2022)
  • Dalton Williams, Illinois State Univ. (Grad. Student 2019-2021)