Key message The integration of new technologies into public plant breeding programs can make a powerful step change in agricultural productivity when aligned with principles of quantitative and Mendelian genetics. Abstract The breeder’s equation is the foundational application of quantitative genetics to crop improvement. Guided by the variables that describe response to selection, emerging breeding technologies can make a powerful step change in the effectiveness of public breeding programs. The most promising innovations for increasing the rate of genetic gain without greatly increasing program size appear to be related to reducing breeding cycle time, which is likely to require the implementation of parent selection on non-inbred progeny, rapid generation advance, and genomic selection. These are complex processes and will require breeding organizations to adopt a culture of continuous optimization and improvement. To enable this, research managers will need to consider and proactively manage the, accountability, strategy, and resource allocations of breeding teams. This must be combined with thoughtful management of elite genetic variation and a clear separation between the parental selection process and product development and advancement process. With an abundance of new technologies available, breeding teams need to evaluate carefully the impact of any new technology on selection intensity, selection accuracy, and breeding cycle length relative to its cost of deployment. Finally breeding data management systems need to be well designed to support selection decisions and novel approaches to accelerate breeding cycles need to be routinely evaluated and deployed.
Key message New models for integration of major gene MAS with modern breeding approaches stand to greatly enhance the reliability and efficiency of breeding, facilitating the leveraging of traditional genetic diversity. Abstract Genetic diversity is well recognised as contributing essential variation to crop breeding processes, and marker-assisted selection is cited as the primary tool to bring this diversity into breeding programs without the associated genetic drag from otherwise poor-quality genomes of donor varieties. However, implementation of marker-assisted selection techniques remains a challenge in many breeding programs worldwide. Many factors contribute to this lack of adoption, such as uncertainty in how to integrate MAS with traditional breeding processes, lack of confidence in MAS as a tool, and the expense of the process. However, developments in genomics tools, locus validation techniques, and new models for how to utilise QTLs in breeding programs stand to address these issues. Marker-assisted forward breeding needs to be enabled through the identification of robust QTLs, the design of reliable marker systems to select for these QTLs, and the delivery of these QTLs into elite genomic backgrounds to enable their use without associated genetic drag. To enhance the adoption and effectiveness of MAS, rice is used as an example of how to integrate new developments and processes into a coherent, efficient strategy for utilising genetic variation. When processes are instituted to address these issues, new genes can be rolled out into a breeding program rapidly and completely with a minimum of expense.
Rice production needs to increase in the future in order to meet increasing demands. The development of new improved and higher yielding varieties more quickly will be needed to meet this demand. However, most rice breeding programmes in the world have not changed in several decades. In this article, we revisit the evidence in favour of using rapid generation advance (RGA) as a routine breeding method. We describe preliminary activities at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) to re-establish RGA on a large scale as the main breeding method for irrigated rice breeding. We also describe experiences from the early adoption at the Bangladesh Rice Research Institute. Evaluation of RGA breeding lines at IRRI for yield, flowering time and plant height indicated transgressive segregation for all traits. Some RGA lines were also higher yielding than the check varieties. The cost advantages of using RGA compared to the pedigree method were also empirically determined by performing an economic analysis. This indicated that RGA is several times more cost effective and advantages will be realized after 1 year even if facilities need to be built. Based on our experience, and previous independent research empirically testing the RGA method in rice, we recommend that this method should be implemented for routine rice breeding in order to improve breeding efficiency.
Three hundred thirty‐day‐old unsexed commercial broiler chicks (Vencobb‐400) with initial average body weight of 44.04 ± 0.42 g were allocated into five experimental groups, in a completely randomized design (CRD) with 21‐day experiment. Groups were formed according to dose of supplemental L‐threonine in various rations i.e., 100% NRC specification, 100% threonine of Vencobb‐400 strain specification, 110% threonine of Vencobb‐400 strain specification, 120% of threonine of Vencobb‐400 strain specification and 130% threonine of Vencobb‐400 strain specification. Average daily feed intake (ADFI), average daily body weight gain (ADG), cumulative feed conversion ratio (CFCR), carcass characteristics, immune response, intestinal morphometry and biochemical profile were studied. The ADFI and ADG increased linearly and quadratically as dietary threonine levels were increased. However, the CFCR did not differ (p ˃ 0.05) among the groups. Though the carcass weight and drumstick yield did not differ (p ˃ 0.05) among the groups, the relative breast yield increased linearly (p = 0.007). The relative dressing yield and relative thigh weight increased linearly (p = 0.05 and p = 0.03, respectively). The relative weight of immune organs like bursa and thymus increased linearly. The mean total serum immunoglobulin, ND‐ELISA titre and the mean lymphocyte proliferation response index increased linearly, whereas mean phagocytic activity index of neutrophil increased linearly (p < 0.001) and quadratically (p = 0.001). The mean villus height (VH), crypt depth (CD), villus surface area and mean goblet cell number/villus increased linearly and quadratically, whereas the villus width (VW) and goblet cell density increased quadratically. The serum glucose increased linearly (p = 0.001), whereas serum total protein concentration and serum globulin level increased both linearly and quadratically. The albumin: globulin ratio tended to decrease linearly. There was a significant decrease (p < 0.05) in serum cholesterol and VLDL cholesterol level. However, a linear increment (p = 0.04) in the blood serum HDL cholesterol level with a linear reduction (p = 0.01) in the blood serum LDL cholesterol was noticed.
An experiment was conducted to determine the influence of dietary inorganic (copper sulfate) and organic (copper proteinate) forms of copper and energy level on performance and nutrient utilization of broiler chickens. Two hundred day-old commercial Vencobb broiler chicks were purchased and randomly distributed to 20 cages of 10 birds each. These replicates were randomly assigned to one of five treatments in a ((2×2)+1) factorial arrangement. These two factors were sources of Cu (CuSO 4 vs. Cuproteinate) and dose of Cu supplements (200 mg and 400 mg/kg dietary dry matter) and the control (no supplemental Cu). After the starter period (up to 3 weeks), from d 22 onwards another factor i.e. energy at two levels (2,900 vs. 2,920 kcal/kg diet) was introduced with the previous factorial arrangements by subdividing each replicate into two equal parts, for two energy levels, without disturbing the dose and source of Cu supplement. Cu-salt supplementation linearly increased (p<0.01) live weight (LW), live weight gain (LWG) and feed conversion ratio (FCR) at 3 weeks, whereas cumulative feed intake (CFI) was unaffected (p>0.05). LWG and FCR were higher (p<0.01) in Cu-proteinate supplemented birds compared to CuSO 4 supplementation. A linear dose response (p<0.01) of Cu was found for the performance of broiler chickens. Birds having a higher energy level in the finisher stage increased (p<0.01) LWG and FCR. Cumulative feed intake was similar (p>0.05) across the groups up to the 5 th week. Cu-proteinate increased performance of broiler chickens compared to CuSO 4. Dose of supplemental Cu-salt irrespective of source showed a linear response (p<0.01) for performance. Supplementation of Cu-proteinate increased metabolizability of DM (p<0.01), NFE (p<0.05), total carbohydrate (p<0.01) and OM (p<0.01) at the starter period. Increased dose of Cu-salt linearly increased (p<0.01) metabolizability of DM, CP, CF, NFE and OM. Higher energy level in the diet improved DM (p<0.05), EE (p<0.01), NFE (p = 0.01), total carbohydrate (p<0.01) and OM (p<0.01) metabolizability. Cu-proteinate supplementation showed better nutrient utilization compared to CuSO 4 . Dose of Cu linearly increased DM, CP, EE, NFE, total carbohydrate and OM metabolizability. CF metabolizability was unaffected (p>0.05) among the treatments. In conclusion, dietary supplementation of Cu-salt more than the requirement may improve performance and nutrient utilization in broiler chickens even with a high energy finisher diet. Cu-proteinate showed better performance and nutrient utilization compared to CuSO 4 .
The lack of dietary diversity among poor communities has led to nutritional consequences, particularly zinc deficiency. An adequate intake of mineral- and vitamin-rich food is necessary for achieving and maintaining good health. Zinc is one of the micronutrients considered essential to improve human health and decrease the risk of malnutrition. Biofortification of rice through breeding is a cost-effective and sustainable strategy to solve micronutrient malnutrition. The Biofortification Priority Index prepared by HarvestPlus clearly identified several countries in Asia with an immediate need for Zn biofortification. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and its national partners in target countries are making efforts to develop Zn-biofortified rice varieties. The first set of high-Zn rice varieties has been released for commercial cultivation in Bangladesh, India, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Efforts have begun to mainstream grain Zn to ensure that the Zn trait becomes an integral part of future varieties. Huge scope exists to apply advanced genomics technologies such as genomic selection and genome editing to speed up high-Zn varietal development. An efficient rice value chain for Zn-biofortified varieties, quality control, and promotion are essential for successful adoption and consumption. The development of next-generation high-Zn rice varieties with higher grain-Zn content, stacking of multiple nutrients, along with good grain quality and acceptable agronomic traits has to be fast-tracked. Healthier rice has a large demand from all stakeholders, so we need to keep up the pace of developing nutritious rice to meet the demand and to achieve nutritional security.
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