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 course of 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 programs success


Research Goals

Pennycress Improvement

Our proposed work will involve the combined efforts of breeders, bioinformaticists, agronomists, geneticists, biochemists, and farmers affiliated with three pennycress breeding programs: University of Minnesota (UMN), Western Illinois University (WIU), and CoverCress, Inc. We are joining forces to rapidly develop elite pennycress varieties with superior traits that are 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