b'BREEDING COMPANIES MUST MAINTAIN CLOSE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THEIR MARKETS TO ENSURE THEIR BREEDING PROGRAMS ARE ALIGNED WITH INDUSTRY AND END-CONSUMER NEEDS.still a minor crop compared to the otherAnother big innovation from Barenbrugmajor grass species. Looking forward grass species in their breeding program,in this species is its seed enhancementwe believe that NBT could be valuable his group has not used molecular tech- (Barenbrugs yellow jacket water man- tools in P. pratensis breeding in years niques to this point.ager). This seed enhancement greatlyto come. We already use flow-cytometric Gyllenberg shares a few develop- increases the success rate of both ger- to verify the ploidy in offspring, which ments from various institutions. Shawnmination and establishment, the mostshows morphological differences from Bushman at the US Department ofdifficult phase for P. pratensis. Once ittheir parents.Agriculture has had quite a bit of trac- is properly established, it is a very strongGrieder notes that NBT might be very tion sequencing the genome. In addi- grass! he adds. useful to improve some of the rather qual-tion, Michael Neff at Washington Stateitative traits, for example, reduced lignin.University is in the process of character- NBT USE For his part, Schumann sees a role izing vernalization genes, and scientistsIn terms of whether new plant breedingfor NBT in P. pratensis breeding but it at Rutgers University have released atechniques (NBT) will provide benefitsmust be cost-effective. He points to germi-DNA typing study.in future breeding of this grass species,nation testing as an ongoing topic of dis-Van der Weijde mentions that P.van der Aa notes that the high degree ofcussion where improvements are needed. pratensis is a genetically complex spe- genetic complexity (being an apomict)He and his colleagues have observed large cies with very limited availability ofof P. pratensis results in having up todifferences in test results among various molecular tools, so breeding is very12N pairs of chromosomes. Perenniallabs, even though they use the same ISTA visual phenotype based. Innovationsryegrass in comparison has 2N or 4N, heProtocol. More research seems to be nec-therefore can be found in more accurateexplains. Keeping that in mind, we haveessary to achieve highly-reliable results, screening of genetics in new and diverseprioritized developing the possibilities ofhe says, and maybe adaptation of the environments, such as rainout shelters.new breeding techniques in some of theISTA Protocol is needed.TURNINGSEEDSFOR YOUR TURNOVER 46IEUROPEAN SEEDIEUROPEAN-SEED.COM'