The Summing Up: One Person's Life with Small Grains
After receiving his Ph.D. in 1975, P. Stephen Baenziger worked all his career as a small grain breeder (wheat and barley and later adding triticale). Baenziger will offer his reflections on working at the USDA-ARS, Monsanto, and for the last 34 years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and what it means to be a plant breeder.
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[00:00:00.810]The following presentation is part
[00:00:02.720]of the Agronomy and Horticulture Seminar Series
[00:00:05.546]at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
[00:00:07.920]So good afternoon, everyone.
[00:00:09.264]Welcome to this UNL Department of Agronomy and Horticulture
[00:00:15.120]My name is Marc Libault.
[00:00:16.250]I am an associate professor
[00:00:17.530]in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture,
[00:00:19.844]and I direct the Single-Cell Genomics Core Facility at UNL.
[00:00:23.355]So I'm very happy to introduce Dr. Stephen Baenziger
[00:00:27.268]who is currently across Colorado.
[00:00:28.200]We are working together on some maize cultivars.
[00:00:32.880]Stephen has degrees from Harvard and Purdue Universities.
[00:00:37.020]And before joining the University of Nebraska,
[00:00:39.360]he work eight years for the USDA ARS,
[00:00:43.380]and during three years with the Monsanto Corporation.
[00:00:47.940]He's currently a professor
[00:00:48.960]in the Department of Agronomy and Horticulture at UNL.
[00:00:52.370]And he's also the presidential chair
[00:00:54.317]of the Nebraska Wheat Growers.
[00:00:57.840]Stephen research focus on improving
[00:01:00.260]the agronomic performance and winter hardiness
[00:01:04.020]of small grains like winter wheat, barley,
[00:01:06.570]and triticale, and is very much interested
[00:01:09.840]on developing other new breeding methods.
[00:01:12.940]His accomplishments in term of research
[00:01:14.330]are really outstanding
[00:01:15.540]and includes 294 peer-reviewed articles,
[00:01:18.970]32 presentations and symposia articles, 16 book chapters.
[00:01:23.823]He has also co-released 64 cultivars
[00:01:27.130]and 36 germ plasm lines or populations.
[00:01:31.830]His teaching and service activities encourage education,
[00:01:36.160]and he does a lot of outreach activity
[00:01:39.230]related to plant breeding and genetics.
[00:01:41.790]He has leadership roles in numerous scientific societies
[00:01:44.760]as division chair and president of the Crop Science Society,
[00:01:48.290]and also as an associate editor and editor-in-chief
[00:01:52.060]for "Crop Science."
[00:01:54.050]Stephen is also a fellow
[00:01:55.210]in the American Society of Agronomy,
[00:01:57.030]Crop Science Society of America,
[00:01:58.890]and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
[00:02:02.590]And so today Stephen is going to talk to us
[00:02:04.470]about his entire career working on small grain crops.
[00:02:08.290]And so his talk is entitled,
[00:02:11.367]"The Summing Up: One Person's Life with Small Grains."
[00:02:16.510]Thank you very much.
[00:02:17.830]What I would like to say is the title, "The Summing Up,"
[00:02:20.430]this is in honor of David Holding.
[00:02:22.032]It's a book by Somerset Maugham,
[00:02:24.349]an English author of the early 20th century.
[00:02:27.470]I always liked that title.
[00:02:29.260]And then "One Person's Life with Small Grains"
[00:02:31.420]is a takeoff from a book by H.V. Harlan,
[00:02:33.837]"One Man's Life with Barley."
[00:02:36.250]So that's the title.
[00:02:38.204]The topics I wanna talk about will be
[00:02:41.220]the varieties or cultivars I've released
[00:02:43.120]over the past 34 years,
[00:02:45.650]a little bit about the science,
[00:02:47.500]a little bit about the team and the legacy, who's next,
[00:02:50.400]and then a thank you.
[00:02:52.184]So in the first 16 to 17 years of my career here,
[00:02:57.410]I released 22 wheat varieties.
[00:02:59.370]They're all listed here.
[00:03:00.560]Don't worry, I won't go over all of them.
[00:03:03.103]And then in the next 17 years
[00:03:05.310]I released another 22 cultivars, and they're listed here.
[00:03:12.530]And of those, the ones that I would call the hits,
[00:03:15.450]the ones that were the major ones, are these 16.
[00:03:19.300]And I'll give you a little background on each of them,
[00:03:21.330]why they were important,
[00:03:22.600]but I don't want to bore you more than I probably will.
[00:03:27.020]The first wheat I ever released was Arapahoe.
[00:03:29.550]And it's a little bit unfortunate in that
[00:03:30.843]it may have been actually my best wheat.
[00:03:33.930]It was grown on 30% of the acreage in Nebraska,
[00:03:36.810]well over a million acres in the Northern Great Plains.
[00:03:39.910]Tremendous winter hardiness, tremendous disease resistance,
[00:03:43.010]beautiful end-use quality.
[00:03:45.130]And was grown everywhere from Nebraska
[00:03:48.030]all the way north to Canada.
[00:03:50.320]Alliance was the fourth wheat.
[00:03:52.750]And it was really an interesting wheat
[00:03:54.620]because it had the best root rot and crown rot
[00:03:58.060]of any wheat that I've ever released.
[00:04:00.060]And when you plant into sandy soils,
[00:04:03.300]you cannot get the soil-to-seed fit that you want,
[00:04:11.180]and that's where you get your crown rots.
[00:04:13.490]And Alliance was the first wheat
[00:04:15.160]that growers ever actually came up
[00:04:16.930]and thanked me for releasing.
[00:04:18.740]And it was grown on about 20% of the acreage.
[00:04:21.870]Millennium was obviously released in 2000,
[00:04:24.930]and it was a wheat that was the most forgiving wheat.
[00:04:28.130]So if you had a crop that was at one ton per hectare,
[00:04:30.770]or a crop that was at six tons per hectare,
[00:04:34.070]Millennium was always in the top three,
[00:04:36.040]and never let you down.
[00:04:37.894]And that was a tremendous thing.
[00:04:39.560]Arapaho was one of the parents of Millennium.
[00:04:42.530]Robidoux is a wheat that was named after Robidoux Pass.
[00:04:45.740]Most of you in the east probably don't know about it,
[00:04:47.810]but it's a pass between Wyoming and Nebraska.
[00:04:51.670]This was co-released with Wyoming.
[00:04:53.820]It's an excellent dryland wheat; still is.
[00:04:56.990]And it also does extremely well under irrigation.
[00:05:02.220]And what we learned was that to be a really good
[00:05:05.180]irrigated wheat, and Nebraska being the number one
[00:05:07.280]irrigated state in the nation, you actually need to have
[00:05:11.380]a little bit of drought tolerance 'cause quite often,
[00:05:13.540]growers turn off the water just a little bit too soon.
[00:05:16.920]And so a good irrigated wheat really should
[00:05:19.413]be able to finish under drought.
[00:05:23.679]The next wheat was Overland,
[00:05:25.087]and this was an absolutely stunning wheat.
[00:05:28.130]It was the most winter hardy wheat since Arapahoe.
[00:05:31.260]It was grown everywhere between Nebraska
[00:05:33.870]all the way to Canada.
[00:05:34.810]Again, beautiful disease resistance, test weight,
[00:05:38.430]high protein wheat, good agronomics.
[00:05:41.590]The difficulty with it was it was minimally adequate
[00:05:44.530]for end-use quality.
[00:05:46.400]And so when we released Overland,
[00:05:47.960]we almost immediately released Camelot,
[00:05:50.060]which didn't quite have the same agronomic potential
[00:05:53.510]as Overland, but was far superior in quality.
[00:05:56.290]And we were hoping that Overland and Camelot,
[00:06:00.380]if they were grown in the state, you would end up
[00:06:02.460]with pretty good end-use quality on average.
[00:06:06.740]And so that's why Camelot went out.
[00:06:08.740]Camelot also became one of the greatest parents
[00:06:11.450]we've had in our program.
[00:06:14.150]The next wheat was Freeman.
[00:06:15.750]Freeman was the only wheat after probably five years
[00:06:19.180]that could top Overland in our state trials.
[00:06:22.170]It was an absolutely brilliant wheat for the north.
[00:06:24.870]Again, just like Overland, a little lower in test weight,
[00:06:28.020]a little lower in protein, but better in disease resistance.
[00:06:32.430]And it was released, as you might imagine, in 2012.
[00:06:37.570]That was the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act.
[00:06:42.850]Freeman is ideally suited for the Beatrice area
[00:06:46.280]where the first homestead was, and Daniel Freeman
[00:06:49.310]was the first homesteader.
[00:06:51.120]Now there's a bit of a hidden name in this one also
[00:06:54.500]in that 1862 is also the pre-Emancipation Proclamation.
[00:07:03.240]Lincoln told all the states in rebellion
[00:07:06.740]that the next year he was going to free all the slaves
[00:07:09.480]if they stayed in rebellion.
[00:07:10.620]So we gave them a year to change their minds.
[00:07:13.560]And so Freeman also was in honor
[00:07:16.180]of the Emancipation Proclamation,
[00:07:18.537]meaning that it would be for free people.
[00:07:21.680]Now Alliance was a parent of Freeman.
[00:07:24.340]Ruth is probably the most commonly-grown wheat
[00:07:27.100]of mine right now; most widely grown wheat.
[00:07:29.998]Just absolutely spectacular quality.
[00:07:32.830]It's named after Ruth Miller Moore,
[00:07:34.780]who was our greenhouse manager.
[00:07:36.940]Historically, you never name a wheat after someone's living.
[00:07:40.750]And Ruth was one that we released
[00:07:43.470]shortly after Ruth passed away, unfortunately far too young.
[00:07:47.580]And so we asked if it'd be okay to name a wheat after her,
[00:07:50.800]and the family said it was okay.
[00:07:53.280]Outstanding quality, really broad adaptation.
[00:07:56.522]Whither thou goest, I will go.
[00:07:58.660]It can be grown anywhere in Nebraska.
[00:08:01.550]Beautiful test weight, excellent disease resistance,
[00:08:05.000]everything you'd want in a wheat.
[00:08:07.080]And so that's Ruth.
[00:08:10.580]Our next wheat is LCS Valiant.
[00:08:12.770]And that sounds a little strange.
[00:08:14.120]We bred it, but it's marketed by Limagrain Cereal Seeds.
[00:08:17.760]The reason for that is the line does really well in Nebraska
[00:08:21.560]but it's also very early, and it does extremely well
[00:08:24.360]in western Kansas, and our seed growers can market wheats
[00:08:27.900]well in Nebraska, but we don't have really good
[00:08:31.180]marketing potential in western Kansas.
[00:08:34.770]So we opted to partner up with a company that
[00:08:36.840]can take this wheat to where it belongs.
[00:08:40.960]Now we are the people's university,
[00:08:43.180]and we release wheats
[00:08:45.070]for all the different types of production that is needed.
[00:08:49.370]And so the wheats I've shown you before are the semi-dwarfs,
[00:08:52.690]or the Green Revolution wheats.
[00:08:54.780]These are the tall wheats.
[00:08:55.970]They're long coleoptiles.
[00:08:58.130]They don't have the semi-dwarfing genes in them.
[00:09:00.184]And they're grown in our drought-stressed,
[00:09:03.950]The first one was Pronghorn,
[00:09:05.860]which came out of Senterk and Centura.
[00:09:08.630]The next one was Goodstreak.
[00:09:09.900]And if you look at Goodstreak,
[00:09:11.300]you can see how it stands like soldiers in a row.
[00:09:14.530]The advantage of that is when you put a large head
[00:09:17.630]on a very long stem, the leverage is always
[00:09:20.043]to have the wheat lodge.
[00:09:22.630]Goodstreak has much better straw strength than Pronghorn.
[00:09:26.540]And if you get a little more moisture,
[00:09:28.190]first of all, it won't fall down,
[00:09:30.200]and then secondly, it also has a bit
[00:09:32.780]of a better upend potential.
[00:09:34.880]So we released Pronghorn and then we released Goodstreak,
[00:09:38.140]and Goodstreak is one that will give the growers
[00:09:40.580]better opportunities if they get lucky.
[00:09:43.560]Now, the last tall wheat is Panhandle,
[00:09:45.530]and this is a remarkable wheat
[00:09:47.730]because it actually is a semi-dwarf.
[00:09:49.940]It's as tall as Pronghorn and Goodstreak.
[00:09:51.850]It's the tallest semi-dwarf we've ever released.
[00:09:55.690]But it has the straw strength of a semi-dwarf,
[00:09:58.390]the higher yield potential of a semi-dwarf,
[00:10:01.170]and then thanks to Mary Gutierri,
[00:10:03.380]she identified that this line was the first bread wheat
[00:10:06.950]that had low cadmium accumulation genes.
[00:10:11.226]Low cadmium accumulation was well-known in Durum wheat,
[00:10:14.097]but had never been found in aestivum or the bread wheats.
[00:10:17.320]And she found this.
[00:10:18.210]So this is a one that if you ever have toxic soils,
[00:10:22.350]Panhandle is the wheat that you would grow.
[00:10:26.330]We've also released herbicide-resistant wheats.
[00:10:28.850]Infinity CL was our first.
[00:10:30.490]It was grown mainly in southwest Nebraska.
[00:10:33.150]Settler CL is one that was very broadly adapted.
[00:10:37.090]It was grown anywhere from Colorado to Wyoming,
[00:10:39.730]co-released with Wyoming.
[00:10:41.450]Nebraska and South Dakota didn't have the access
[00:10:44.650]to the technology, so it was widely grown
[00:10:46.590]in South Dakota also.
[00:10:48.125]These wheats are resistant to our herbicides
[00:10:51.210]due to a mutation that can take out
[00:10:53.560]some of the common grass weeds,
[00:10:55.040]and weeds such as jointed goatgrass, downy brome,
[00:10:59.420]cheatgrass, those type of things.
[00:11:02.310]Finally, we are the largest irrigated wheat-producing state
[00:11:05.810]in the country, so we've had to breed irrigated wheats.
[00:11:08.380]Wesley was named after my predecessor,
[00:11:10.790]John Wesley Schmidt.
[00:11:12.450]Was developed by my good friend, Jim Peterson,
[00:11:14.940]now of Limagrain.
[00:11:16.523]It was a wonderful irrigated wheat
[00:11:18.720]widely grown in Nebraska, but actually very widely grown
[00:11:22.030]in South Dakota where they loved its straw strength.
[00:11:25.070]Our next irrigated wheat is NE15420.
[00:11:28.480]We just released it.
[00:11:29.420]If you look at that, it may not be obvious to you,
[00:11:33.010]but you can see there's rows.
[00:11:34.550]That means it has excellent straw strength.
[00:11:37.190]You can see that it has large heads.
[00:11:39.680]It's not too tall, which in irrigated production,
[00:11:42.650]they don't like a lot of straw
[00:11:44.490]because it gives them too much residue.
[00:11:46.570]And so this is the next impact-irrigated wheat that we have.
[00:11:51.740]Now, I wanted to give you just an idea
[00:11:54.270]of what the impact of a program can be.
[00:11:57.259]So I did this in 2010.
[00:11:59.550]I can update it, but basically
[00:12:01.040]the crop was a little bit larger.
[00:12:02.920]The value of the crop was good.
[00:12:04.090]So it's a good estimate.
[00:12:05.810]But in 2010 we produced in Nebraska
[00:12:08.650]about 4 billion pounds of wheat.
[00:12:11.530]And the value of that wheat was
[00:12:13.050]about half a billion dollars.
[00:12:15.380]Now breeders can't take credit for all of that
[00:12:17.460]'cause a lot of things go into the end yield.
[00:12:20.100]But if you look at the lines that were released in 1966,
[00:12:23.117]and you looked at the lines released in 2010,
[00:12:27.150]the difference in their yield,
[00:12:29.090]which would be only due to genetics,
[00:12:30.620]was about a 20% improvement.
[00:12:33.140]So you could realistically say breeders
[00:12:35.570]of that half a billion dollars
[00:12:37.830]added about a hundred million dollars
[00:12:41.340]to our farmers' profitability.
[00:12:44.300]Now I can't take credit for that
[00:12:46.560]because farmers grow varieties
[00:12:48.500]from all kinds of different sources,
[00:12:50.900]but the project at UNL and USDA
[00:12:54.250]had a 66% market share in 2010.
[00:12:58.550]So if you looked at that roughly $108 million
[00:13:01.592]that breeders had added to it,
[00:13:04.010]our program added $71 million to our farmers.
[00:13:08.420]Now, the state and the USDA were putting in
[00:13:10.860]probably between three and $4 million a year.
[00:13:14.610]And our growers were getting a $71 million
[00:13:17.700]return on investment.
[00:13:19.490]So I think if you gave $3 and you got 71 back,
[00:13:22.590]most people would think you had a pretty good investment.
[00:13:25.770]Now I want you to understand
[00:13:26.983]that I really like our growers being profitable.
[00:13:30.200]I like them being successful.
[00:13:32.220]But that's not why I got in this business.
[00:13:35.290]If you look at that same, roughly 4 billion pounds of wheat,
[00:13:38.800]and you look at the average American eats
[00:13:41.330]about something like 157 pounds of wheat per year,
[00:13:45.890]our crop feeds roughly 20 million people.
[00:13:50.290]And again, breeders can't take credit for all of that.
[00:13:52.890]But if you took the 20% that was due to the improvement,
[00:13:57.520]we could easily justify that 4 million people are fed
[00:14:00.952]because of what breeders do.
[00:14:02.750]And again, our market share was 66%.
[00:14:05.890]So that roughly 2.7 million people got all of their wheat
[00:14:09.970]from what the project at the University of Nebraska
[00:14:12.470]with the USDA has done.
[00:14:14.680]And so if you're familiar with the common prayer,
[00:14:16.887]"Give us this day, our daily bread,"
[00:14:19.340]I want you to understand that there's a project
[00:14:21.280]at the University of Nebraska working 24/7,
[00:14:24.450]365 days a year to have that prayer come true.
[00:14:29.654]Now, I don't want you to think everything was a success.
[00:14:32.250]That would be foolish.
[00:14:33.690]I'm not that lucky.
[00:14:34.960]I am lucky, but not that lucky.
[00:14:36.890]We did have some misses.
[00:14:38.620]Siouxland 89 was a wheat released by Texas A&M.
[00:14:42.150]Siouxland, the original one,
[00:14:43.680]was polymorphic for vernalization.
[00:14:45.530]They never could certify it in Texas,
[00:14:48.680]so they selected the low vernalizing types,
[00:14:51.490]which is what Texas would need.
[00:14:53.490]Siouxland, in its heyday, had the best leaf rust resistance
[00:14:56.520]of any wheat in the Great Plains.
[00:14:58.840]You could literally drive down the road at 60 miles an hour;
[00:15:01.540]if the field was green, it was Siouxland;
[00:15:02.580]if it was anything else, it wasn't.
[00:15:05.350]But by the time they released it, the rust had broke.
[00:15:07.980]The resistance had broken.
[00:15:09.220]So it never went anywhere.
[00:15:11.140]Rawhide was a wheat that the year before it released,
[00:15:15.750]we had extreme heat, 42, 43 degrees C at North Platte,
[00:15:20.880]over 104 degrees.
[00:15:23.780]And the wheat yielded about 3.3 metric tons.
[00:15:27.950]And the next best wheat there
[00:15:30.080]yielded 2.3 metric tons per hectare.
[00:15:33.550]And so we named it Rawhide
[00:15:34.940]because it was as tough as rawhide.
[00:15:37.500]Well, the year it got released
[00:15:39.550]we had 60 degree Fahrenheit on January 31st.
[00:15:44.540]The high on February 1st was 32 degrees.
[00:15:48.590]The high on February 2nd was zero degrees.
[00:15:51.425]And the high on February 3rd was minus 10.
[00:15:56.020]Rawhide broke dormancy and completely froze out.
[00:15:59.780]We'd never seen that in the 12 years of development,
[00:16:02.120]but you only have one chance to make a first impression
[00:16:05.090]and Rawhide's first impression was not very good.
[00:16:09.240]Culver never lived up to its data,
[00:16:11.230]which was a strange thing.
[00:16:13.070]Windstar was a beautiful wheat,
[00:16:15.220]and it got its name because in growing wheat,
[00:16:19.470]especially in western Nebraska,
[00:16:20.910]you can have what they call blow outs
[00:16:22.560]where there's wind erosion
[00:16:23.700]that literally blows the wheat out of the field.
[00:16:26.230]And I went out to a nursery
[00:16:27.690]and there was one corner of the field was completely missing
[00:16:31.310]except for the four rows of Windstar.
[00:16:34.460]And then the three rows next to it
[00:16:36.100]that Windstar had protected,
[00:16:37.530]because it was unbelievably tolerant to wind erosion
[00:16:41.402]But it's also the most photoperiod-sensitive wheat
[00:16:44.073]that we have ever had.
[00:16:45.260]So that means
[00:16:46.093]the temperature didn't change its growth habit,
[00:16:48.260]only the day length.
[00:16:49.940]Normally our wheats flower about May 24th,
[00:16:52.440]and so it was a perfect wheat for that.
[00:16:56.220]The year it was released
[00:16:57.260]we had the earliest year in history up to that point.
[00:17:00.920]We were flowering on May 6th to May 10th.
[00:17:03.878]All of our wheats were flowering then except Windstar.
[00:17:06.610]It was waiting for the proper day length.
[00:17:08.930]On May 24th it went ahead and flowered.
[00:17:11.440]We were cutting our wheat on June 10th.
[00:17:14.460]16 days from flowering, to finish, to harvest
[00:17:18.920]just was unacceptable, and the yield completely collapsed.
[00:17:22.290]It just absolutely was worthless.
[00:17:25.097]And then the last wheat was a two-gene Clearfield,
[00:17:27.430]one of our really high-yielding,
[00:17:28.810]still is an outstanding high-yielding wheat,
[00:17:31.310]but it's soft and we're a hard wheat market.
[00:17:33.640]So you can't release a hard wheat in a soft wheat market,
[00:17:36.910]or can't release a soft wheat in a hard wheat market.
[00:17:40.920]So that's what happened to that wheat.
[00:17:42.660]So we've had some misses, just so you know.
[00:17:45.900]Now I've also released 13 triticales.
[00:17:50.170]Triticales have tremendous grain and forage yields.
[00:17:53.670]Very hard to combine both of them in the same line.
[00:17:56.060]We do have one that comes pretty close.
[00:17:58.610]They can be used as a feed grain.
[00:18:00.770]Basically, if you're a feed grain-deficient
[00:18:03.570]part of the state, and you can grow small grains,
[00:18:05.530]triticale is a great opportunity.
[00:18:07.860]Could be used as a food grain.
[00:18:09.670]If you do that, you have to watch out
[00:18:11.080]for a disease called ergot.
[00:18:13.290]Ergot is a very nasty mycotoxin.
[00:18:18.010]It can be used as a forage or a silage,
[00:18:19.890]and then it can be used as a cover crop.
[00:18:22.340]Personally, I prefer triticale to rye
[00:18:24.670]in any cover crop situation.
[00:18:26.950]Mainly because rye volunteers so much
[00:18:28.840]and triticale not so much.
[00:18:31.150]Has outstanding disease and insect resistance.
[00:18:34.410]It's virtually immune to all of the rusts,
[00:18:36.720]most fungi, many of the viruses, many of the insects.
[00:18:41.190]Its Achilles heels are that it's susceptible
[00:18:43.350]to bacterial streak.
[00:18:45.410]And it's also ergot.
[00:18:47.380]It's not as winter hardy as wheat,
[00:18:49.340]but it has ample winter hardiness to be grown in Nebraska.
[00:18:52.190]And it is better than winter barley.
[00:18:55.059]The future of triticale, and we discovered this mutation
[00:18:58.530]in our field, is awnlessness.
[00:19:00.960]The reason for that is that the awns,
[00:19:03.340]when an animal eats it,
[00:19:04.520]it's like eating needles, and they will puncture the cheek,
[00:19:07.260]and they can become infected.
[00:19:09.000]And the animals don't like eating needles.
[00:19:11.300]So you want to remove the awns,
[00:19:13.540]and we're now working very, very hard on that.
[00:19:17.190]We've released seven barley varieties.
[00:19:19.210]Most recently, NB15420.
[00:19:22.720]Barley can be used as feed.
[00:19:24.568]As a hulled grain it's very good for animals.
[00:19:27.650]It's forage actually, it's a softer leaf tissue
[00:19:30.450]than wheat, and wheat is softer than is triticale.
[00:19:35.150]Many of you knew barley can be used in malting.
[00:19:37.300]We are working on that.
[00:19:38.430]That's relatively a new part for us.
[00:19:41.130]If you take the hulls away, then you get what's called
[00:19:43.800]the hull-less or naked grain, and that's used for food.
[00:19:47.030]And again, it makes a very good cover crop.
[00:19:50.300]It used to be that barley was a very small market.
[00:19:53.100]So we had one producer that had exclusive rights
[00:19:56.580]to all of our material.
[00:19:58.152]That was really good right up until he went bankrupt
[00:20:01.180]and we almost lost all of our barley germ plasm
[00:20:04.290]for seed anywhere in the Great Plains.
[00:20:07.010]So we were able to recover that
[00:20:08.770]thanks to some tricks he did,
[00:20:11.090]as well as he eventually sold his business.
[00:20:13.420]We now have it open.
[00:20:15.280]The biggest improvement in barley
[00:20:16.940]is we now test in Nebraska, Kansas, and Oklahoma.
[00:20:20.170]And in Nebraska, we work with Dipak Santra,
[00:20:22.900]Cody Creech, and Amanda Easterly.
[00:20:25.141]And then in Kansas with Guorong Zhang,
[00:20:27.890]and Do Mornhinweg with the USDA in Oklahoma.
[00:20:33.860]If you're unfamiliar with barley,
[00:20:35.480]there's really a kind of a cool thing.
[00:20:37.370]The maltsters want two-row malting barley.
[00:20:39.890]They want a big, fat seed full of carbohydrate
[00:20:42.440]'cause protein clouds your beer.
[00:20:45.140]The feed people want six-row because that's something
[00:20:48.040]which gives you a very generally higher yields.
[00:20:51.530]So that's very important for them.
[00:20:54.300]And they don't care about the kernel size as much.
[00:20:57.310]And if you have the awn gene,
[00:20:59.320]there's a second gene called the hooded gene
[00:21:01.370]which will take the awn gene and convert it into a hood
[00:21:04.940]looking just like the hood on a cape
[00:21:07.380]so that you get this very soft, leafy tissue
[00:21:09.980]that the animals can really eat.
[00:21:11.700]It's not like eating needles, it's like eating a salad.
[00:21:14.920]And so that's where we're moving with our forage barleys.
[00:21:21.020]So that gives you an idea of our cultivars.
[00:21:24.130]I do wanna talk to you a little bit about our science,
[00:21:27.830]and of course, you know,
[00:21:29.040]we always like working on the hard traits.
[00:21:30.800]So we wanted to understand grain yield.
[00:21:33.320]It's a complex trait, it's controlled by many genes
[00:21:36.190]can be difficult to identify differences,
[00:21:38.730]especially if you're working
[00:21:39.780]in relatively low-yielding environments
[00:21:41.780]and Nebraska isn't; it's rain-fed crops.
[00:21:43.930]We're usually 2 1/2 metric tons when I first came here.
[00:21:47.190]Now we're between three and 3 1/2 metric tons.
[00:21:50.400]Has huge environmental effects.
[00:21:52.640]And you need really effective tools.
[00:21:55.487]Now this graph's a little bit difficult to understand,
[00:21:58.670]but it's a very important graph.
[00:22:00.180]And I want to honor Rosalind Morris
[00:22:02.870]who developed this material.
[00:22:05.100]And this is very close to International Women's Science Day,
[00:22:09.280]and it's part of Women's History Month.
[00:22:11.390]And Rosalind Morris was a spectacular cytogeneticist.
[00:22:15.640]The best proofreader of any article I've ever seen
[00:22:18.720]with the possible exception of Steven Wegulo
[00:22:20.820]in plant pathology.
[00:22:22.716]First fellow of the American Society of Agronomy
[00:22:25.420]that was a woman.
[00:22:26.253]First woman fellow of the American Society of Agronomy.
[00:22:30.140]She spent her whole life creating
[00:22:32.560]an unbelievable genetic series of materials.
[00:22:36.540]This one is Cheyenne, which is the founder wheat
[00:22:41.200]for all of the Nebraska wheats.
[00:22:43.100]Wheat has three genomes: the A, the B, and the D.
[00:22:45.770]Each genome has seven chromosomes.
[00:22:48.170]And so you have 21 chromosome pairs.
[00:22:50.510]And what she did is she substituted one chromosome pair
[00:22:55.670]from Wichita into Cheyenne, one by one.
[00:23:01.010]So if you look at this, and then we evaluated this
[00:23:03.350]because this material was waiting here for us to use,
[00:23:06.380]you could see that chromosome 3A increased grain yield,
[00:23:10.550]chromosome 6A increased grain yield,
[00:23:13.400]and chromosome 3B drastically reduced it.
[00:23:16.380]And we were interested in this
[00:23:17.780]because there were two theories of how yield occurs.
[00:23:21.420]One is an infinitesimal model where you have
[00:23:23.590]an almost infinite number of genes, all with small effects.
[00:23:27.542]And the other one is where you have very large effects
[00:23:30.010]of major genes.
[00:23:31.800]And if the infinitesimal model was correct,
[00:23:34.240]you would assume that probably you wouldn't see chromosomes
[00:23:37.056]having huge effects.
[00:23:39.730]And Rosalind created this material,
[00:23:41.460]took her whole lifetime to do this.
[00:23:43.140]By the way, Rosalind's still alive.
[00:23:44.650]She just turned 100 this last year.
[00:23:48.260]And she did that.
[00:23:49.857]But the other thing she did, she did the exact same thing
[00:23:53.600]with Wichita, and chromosome pair by chromosome pair,
[00:23:56.970]she put the Cheyenne chromosomes in.
[00:23:59.460]And again, if you look at it, Cheyenne 3A in Wichita
[00:24:03.670]drastically reduced yield.
[00:24:05.480]Cheyenne 6A in Wichita drastically reduced yield.
[00:24:09.260]So if you take Wichita, you put in Cheyenne,
[00:24:11.160]you increase yield.
[00:24:12.440]You take Cheyenne, put it in Wichita, you reduce yield.
[00:24:15.620]The chromosome I wanna draw your attention to is 3B.
[00:24:19.590]In the previous one, 3B, when it was put into Cheyenne,
[00:24:25.060]the line winter-killed; had a catastrophically low yield
[00:24:29.640]which meant that 3B had the gene for winter hardiness
[00:24:32.940]in Cheyenne, but in Wichita it didn't.
[00:24:35.940]So when you put the Cheyenne 3B
[00:24:37.940]with its winter hardiness genes into Wichita,
[00:24:41.050]you see no difference,
[00:24:42.590]because Wichita had its winter hardiness
[00:24:45.120]coming from other chromosomes.
[00:24:47.070]And so therefore adding more winter hardiness
[00:24:48.747]didn't do you any benefits.
[00:24:52.210]Now, once we had this, we were curious to see
[00:24:55.138]if it was a lot of genes on a single chromosome,
[00:24:59.600]or a few really major genes that affected yield
[00:25:02.690]on a single chromosome.
[00:25:04.490]And through elegant cytogenetic work
[00:25:06.340]that Roslyn was able to do,
[00:25:07.720]and we had a wonderful research assistant professor
[00:25:10.440]at the time doing this work,
[00:25:12.480]we were able to partition the chromosome one at a time.
[00:25:16.875]And what we discovered, and there's two key things here:
[00:25:20.040]the blue line is the aggregate data of six environments.
[00:25:24.600]We found one very important QTL.
[00:25:27.750]We found one significant QTL,
[00:25:31.800]but in no individual environment could you find it,
[00:25:34.860]only in the aggregate.
[00:25:36.360]This one you could find it and told us a lot about QTLs.
[00:25:39.670]It was present in the aggregate.
[00:25:41.800]It was obviously present
[00:25:43.100]in three out of our six environments,
[00:25:44.870]almost present in the fourth,
[00:25:46.770]and unaffected in the fifth and sixth.
[00:25:51.020]We were able to map it.
[00:25:52.230]Now at the time, we didn't have really good markers.
[00:25:55.010]So I want people to understand that's why we did
[00:25:56.640]all this side of cytogenetic material.
[00:25:58.460]We originally used RFLPs,
[00:26:00.470]and then gradually we got a few SSRs to do this,
[00:26:04.530]but we had to use the tools we had at the time.
[00:26:06.870]And we found out that the locus was pleiotropic.
[00:26:09.580]It affected grain yield, days to flower, plant height,
[00:26:12.740]grain volume, weight (indistinct) and kernel weight,
[00:26:14.610]those types of things.
[00:26:17.380]The interesting question was if you found a yield QTL,
[00:26:21.170]which we did, how can you use it in breeding?
[00:26:25.500]And so the Wichita allele versus the Cheyenne allele.
[00:26:30.588]And you can see everywhere the Wichita is better
[00:26:35.500]than the Cheyenne allele, and that's a breeder's dream.
[00:26:38.190]It means it never hurts you.
[00:26:39.760]You can always use it, and the only thing it can do is help.
[00:26:43.174]Now, a couple of things you need to see.
[00:26:45.150]This part of the curve was highly significant.
[00:26:48.160]So the high-yielding, the right side of that slide,
[00:26:51.530]is very high-yielding.
[00:26:52.990]And that's where the QTL really showed.
[00:26:56.040]In the low-yielding environments,
[00:26:57.315]the Cheyenne and Wichita alleles
[00:26:59.150]are functionally equivalent.
[00:27:03.030]A different type of thing,
[00:27:03.900]and this is for plant height, not for yield.
[00:27:05.530]We did look at a lot of different traits.
[00:27:07.240]This is what drives breeders crazy.
[00:27:09.680]In this case, in the high-yielding environments over here
[00:27:13.260]you can see that the Cheyenne allele makes the wheat taller,
[00:27:16.440]but when you get in the shorter environments, I should say,
[00:27:19.330]you can see the Cheyenne wheat
[00:27:20.740]actually makes the wheat shorter.
[00:27:23.150]And the Wichita is taller in the short environments
[00:27:25.970]and shorter in the tall environments.
[00:27:28.140]So if a grower comes to you and says,
[00:27:30.407]"I'd like a wheat that's tall," and you say,
[00:27:34.417]"Gee, should I put the Cheyenne or Wichita allele in it?"
[00:27:36.540]it only makes sense if you know
[00:27:38.230]what kind of environment it's going to end up being.
[00:27:40.950]And we can't predict environments in Nebraska.
[00:27:43.300]That's one thing we've learned very well.
[00:27:45.360]So this crossover interaction is what drives breeders crazy
[00:27:49.380]when you have to make recommendations.
[00:27:52.900]But one of the things we then wanted to do
[00:27:54.732]is we said, "You know if we've had 50 years,"
[00:27:56.980]Wichita was released in 1954, Cheyenne in 1933,
[00:28:02.670]you had 50 years of breeding.
[00:28:05.110]We've got a QTL which always helps you, never hurts you.
[00:28:10.275]Do we make use of it?
[00:28:11.650]You know, did breeders do their jobs?
[00:28:14.040]So we took a lot of historic wheats
[00:28:15.567]and a lot of modern wheats.
[00:28:18.400]And we said, which one's got the Cheyenne QTL
[00:28:20.317]and which one has the Wichita QTL?
[00:28:23.300]Now, when we thought about this, we thought,
[00:28:24.967]"Oh my gosh, we should have had only the Cheyenne
[00:28:27.567]"in the historic wheats."
[00:28:28.700]And that wasn't true.
[00:28:31.100]And we should have had Wichita
[00:28:32.550]in some of the historic wheats,
[00:28:33.950]Wichita was a historic wheat, and all the modern wheats.
[00:28:38.250]And what happened was we looked at these
[00:28:41.130]and both alleles are still present,
[00:28:42.910]and it made me think,
[00:28:43.743]"Geez, are breeders not doing their job?"
[00:28:45.840]But when we looked at where the Cheyenne allele was present
[00:28:48.830]its predominantly cultivars, its modern cultivars
[00:28:51.490]in western Nebraska, where the Cheyenne allele
[00:28:54.410]didn't really differentiate from the Wichita allele.
[00:28:57.440]And in our higher-yielding wheats
[00:28:59.280]in the higher-yielding environments,
[00:29:01.320]that's where the Wichita allele is mainly found.
[00:29:05.260]And so it ended up being yep, breeders after 50 years
[00:29:08.590]got it right.
[00:29:10.460]And of course, because we do a lot of germ plasm
[00:29:12.820]besides Cheyenne and Wichita,
[00:29:14.760]there was completely new alleles found
[00:29:16.470]in many of our lines.
[00:29:20.270]Now I showed you the very sparse maps we used to use
[00:29:23.200]in the past.
[00:29:24.640]This has worked with Vicass,
[00:29:25.473]and this shows you what we're doing now.
[00:29:28.620]We do genotype by sequencing.
[00:29:30.400]Routinely we're getting hundreds of thousands
[00:29:32.960]of markers per genome.
[00:29:37.490]And so we're looking at, say 120,000 now, maybe 200,000
[00:29:41.580]with our imputations, very, very dense maps.
[00:29:45.550]That allows us to take all of our single markers
[00:29:48.580]and convert them into alleles based on these dense maps.
[00:29:53.400]So we now, when we do our dense mapping,
[00:29:55.920]we can see where our soil-borne mosaic virus resistance is,
[00:29:59.760]where the Green Revolution reduced height genes are,
[00:30:02.230]the semi dwarfs, where the translocations that give us
[00:30:05.290]leaf, stem rust, and stripe rust resistance are,
[00:30:08.340]where our best genes for glutenin,
[00:30:10.430]which is end-use quality-related are.
[00:30:13.036]And so when we do this now, every time,
[00:30:17.160]all of our preliminary observation lines, which are usually
[00:30:20.530]somewhere between 13 and 1,700, are genotyped,
[00:30:25.000]we can first of all look to see how diverse they are,
[00:30:27.410]because we have to maintain variation in our program
[00:30:29.810]for future progress.
[00:30:31.890]And then if it's blue, it says the gene is present.
[00:30:34.800]If it's yellow, it says the gene is absent.
[00:30:37.420]We can see how we're doing.
[00:30:39.260]So we have a lot of translocations to give us
[00:30:41.740]the stripe rust resistance YR17.
[00:30:44.425]SR6 is a huge gene for stem rust in our program.
[00:30:47.960]It's virtually in every line.
[00:30:51.650]A gene we're trying to put in our wheat
[00:30:53.380]is FHB1 for fusarium head blight.
[00:30:58.090]If you go down to the GLUT1,
[00:30:59.820]which 'cause it's such an important for quality,
[00:31:01.600]virtually every line has it.
[00:31:04.780]And almost all of our wheats are semi-dwarfs.
[00:31:07.323]That's the Rht-B1b.
[00:31:10.860]And then you have these two translocations
[00:31:12.800]which are well-known to give you excellent abiotic stress,
[00:31:17.330]but they also harm quality.
[00:31:19.180]And so even though the stress is important,
[00:31:21.310]the stress tolerance, we've bred them out
[00:31:23.450]because it's too difficult to get really superior
[00:31:26.271]end-use quality from them.
[00:31:30.200]Now that led us into genomic selection.
[00:31:32.980]And I wanted to show you how a breeding program's evolved
[00:31:35.483]over 34 years.
[00:31:37.640]On the X axis we have the best linear unbiased predictions.
[00:31:43.020]This would be your phenotypes.
[00:31:45.070]And if you look, this red rectangle is your top half.
[00:31:49.170]On the Y axis, you have your genetic estimator
[00:31:53.283]That would be based on the genes
[00:31:55.210]or the alleles that you have,
[00:31:56.590]what are the lines that should be the best?
[00:31:59.070]And so the best top half of those
[00:32:01.860]would be in the blue rectangle.
[00:32:05.750]So we started creating priority groups.
[00:32:07.500]Again, this is work by Vicass.
[00:32:09.640]Priority group one would be great estimated breeding values,
[00:32:15.770]Priorities 2.1 would be great estimated breeding values,
[00:32:18.710]not as good phenotypes.
[00:32:20.520]2.2 is great phenotypes,
[00:32:22.460]not as good estimated breeding values.
[00:32:24.630]Three is sort of mediocre in both.
[00:32:28.050]And then four would be if you only used phenotypic breeding
[00:32:31.500]what you would also select.
[00:32:33.820]You have no idea what the estimated breeding values,
[00:32:35.810]but they're, in fact, low.
[00:32:40.150]So what we did is we took our nursery in 2012.
[00:32:43.330]We had all this information.
[00:32:45.560]This slide may look a little confusing,
[00:32:47.330]but every dot, square, plus sign, square with an X in it,
[00:32:53.590]represents our preliminary yield trial; 270 lines.
[00:33:00.610]Anything that's a red dot didn't get advanced.
[00:33:03.940]Everything that is a triangle got advanced
[00:33:06.720]to the next nursery.
[00:33:08.830]If it got advanced to the nursery after that
[00:33:10.940]it went to a green square.
[00:33:13.080]If it got advanced to the nursery after that
[00:33:15.350]it got to a blue plus.
[00:33:17.280]And if it was still in after the next year
[00:33:19.220]it got the square with the X in it.
[00:33:22.770]And what you really see is that despite the diversity,
[00:33:27.480]these are all good-yielding lines,
[00:33:29.900]everything eventually ended up in this upper quadrant.
[00:33:35.630]And that's what's important.
[00:33:37.750]Now, if you look at this
[00:33:40.820]we actually released one line, Siege, out of that.
[00:33:44.608]And you say, "Well, wait a minute.
[00:33:46.137]"That's not outstanding for phenotypes,
[00:33:48.197]"and it's not outstanding for estimated breeding value.
[00:33:52.600]Well, this is statewide averages,
[00:33:54.620]the statewide predictions.
[00:33:56.360]Siege is a narrowly adapted line
[00:33:58.700]ideally suited to eastern Nebraska.
[00:34:01.850]And so because of that
[00:34:02.840]its statewide average wouldn't be high,
[00:34:05.310]but its regional average would be very high,
[00:34:07.990]and it did extremely well.
[00:34:09.570]And also a lot of lines that are really good for yield
[00:34:12.250]may not be good for quality, may not be good
[00:34:14.260]for the disease resistance that we would expect.
[00:34:18.590]Now, if you want to understand plant breeding
[00:34:21.150]what you need to recognize is
[00:34:23.640]that plant breeders never replicate their protocol,
[00:34:26.790]or very rarely.
[00:34:27.623]We've done it once.
[00:34:28.510]Bill Compton did it once.
[00:34:30.540]What we do is we replicate the outcomes of our selection.
[00:34:34.860]And that's how you tell differences.
[00:34:36.490]Was this different than that ones
[00:34:37.770]because you replicate the outcomes.
[00:34:39.810]But to really understand whether the selection is working,
[00:34:43.660]you should either replicate the protocol
[00:34:46.130]or you have to look for patterns and similarities.
[00:34:49.200]So I showed you the 12 to 2016 data.
[00:34:54.330]This is Vicass again, showing the 2016 data.
[00:34:58.290]And so now in '17, we selected in '16
[00:35:02.420]21 lines in the high category 2.1,
[00:35:07.430]the high estimated breeding value,
[00:35:09.694]lower phenotypic value all 18 in this category
[00:35:13.690]which has high phenotypic values,
[00:35:15.480]high estimated breeding values.
[00:35:17.720]And in this quadrant we selected 21
[00:35:22.926]that had the high phenotypic values
[00:35:25.877]and not quite as good estimated breeding values.
[00:35:28.670]The next year they went from 21 to nine.
[00:35:32.100]We kept all 18 of that.
[00:35:34.010]This one went 21 to 18.
[00:35:35.570]There were a few other lines which are tall
[00:35:37.350]which we can't predict well because they're so rare.
[00:35:41.750]The following year,
[00:35:43.890]whoops, the following year
[00:35:46.770]out of this quadrant, not a single line got advanced.
[00:35:49.840]The reason being out of 60 entry trial,
[00:35:52.620]they ranked from 28 to 60th.
[00:35:55.410]In this trial, we selected eight.
[00:35:57.060]They ranked from first to 24th.
[00:35:59.850]In this trial, in this quadrant,
[00:36:01.780]they ranked from second to 19th and we selected seven.
[00:36:06.340]And we kept a couple of the ones down here
[00:36:08.020]where we had no data.
[00:36:11.970]Following them again, looking at the pattern.
[00:36:14.440]This eight went to four.
[00:36:15.510]They were ranked one, three, and 32.
[00:36:16.740]32 is probably for a very good
[00:36:20.090]wheat streak mosaic virus gene,
[00:36:21.640]which is known to hurt yield.
[00:36:24.390]This line we selected two out of the seven,
[00:36:26.750]and they were ranked fifth and six.
[00:36:30.130]You look at it again.
[00:36:31.530]We selected three lines out of here.
[00:36:33.130]They ranked two, 12, and 28.
[00:36:36.000]We selected one and it was ranked third.
[00:36:38.650]And what it tells you is that everything, once again,
[00:36:42.670]gravitated to that very excellent quadrant
[00:36:47.660]that we were looking at, okay?
[00:36:50.780]And so that's what we ended up.
[00:36:53.240]Now we've changed our breeding program, actually,
[00:36:56.220]to account for that knowledge, and how we do our testing.
[00:37:02.540]But again, the pattern is very clear.
[00:37:04.940]Estimated breeding values by themselves are not perfect,
[00:37:08.410]but estimated breeding values
[00:37:09.770]added to the phenotypic values are extremely powerful.
[00:37:15.140]I wanna give you a short history of hybrid wheat.
[00:37:17.830]And the reason for that is because
[00:37:19.400]it's the thing we're working on right now,
[00:37:21.360]and have our largest grants in.
[00:37:23.550]When I started breeding in 1976, and I'm that old, okay?
[00:37:28.950]There were very active hybrid wheat programs
[00:37:31.090]in the Great Plains.
[00:37:32.590]But by the 1990s virtually every hybrid wheat program
[00:37:36.450]in the Great Plains had stopped,
[00:37:37.830]and anywhere in the country.
[00:37:40.150]Now at the same time, hybrid rice,
[00:37:42.520]facing similar challenges, continued for 30 years.
[00:37:46.410]In the wilderness.
[00:37:47.670]They were told that you're not gonna find heterosis,
[00:37:50.060]that you can't make a self-pollinated crop
[00:37:51.967]and a cross-pollinated crop.
[00:37:54.003]All the things that we're told,
[00:37:55.970]all the reasons why it wouldn't work.
[00:37:57.810]And they were right,
[00:37:59.330]right up until they were wrong.
[00:38:01.440]And after 30 years in the wilderness, two groups,
[00:38:04.140]the Chinese who stuck with it,
[00:38:05.730]and the International Rice Research Institute,
[00:38:07.760]who stuck with it, developed a system that worked.
[00:38:11.240]And now there's 17 million hectares of hybrid rice.
[00:38:15.420]And there's 100,000 hectares of hybrid wheat.
[00:38:19.390]And I've always wondered where would we have been
[00:38:22.370]if anybody, public or private,
[00:38:24.840]had stayed with the research for the 30 years
[00:38:28.980]that the rice people had put in?
[00:38:31.096]Would we be better off?
[00:38:34.090]Now, the reason for starting this project was pretty simple.
[00:38:36.600]You've all heard that in 2050
[00:38:38.810]there's gonna be 9 billion to 10 billion people.
[00:38:41.600]They often don't tell you that due to prosperity
[00:38:43.830]they're not gonna eat like nine or 10 billion people today.
[00:38:46.290]They're going to eat like 12 billion people
[00:38:48.180]equivalents would eat today
[00:38:50.010]because they're gonna have better diets.
[00:38:51.320]They're gonna expect more food.
[00:38:53.710]In order to meet that, you're gonna need to have
[00:38:55.930]rates of gain of 1.4 to 1.7% annually.
[00:39:00.130]In the Great Plains the rate of gain is about 0.9%.
[00:39:04.930]And so really the question comes up
[00:39:07.790]if you don't have a plan to raise grain yield
[00:39:10.160]by 1.4 to 1.7%, if you're satisfied with 0.9,
[00:39:15.257]you don't have a plan to succeed; you have a plan to fail.
[00:39:19.430]And I told you, I got into this business to feed people.
[00:39:22.060]I didn't get into this business to fail.
[00:39:24.860]So in agriculture, failure can't be an option.
[00:39:29.760]So we have an extensive collaboration
[00:39:32.270]with great colleagues in Germany.
[00:39:34.090]We have an extensive collaboration
[00:39:35.830]with colleagues at Texas A&M and with also Kansas State.
[00:39:39.559]And our German colleagues developed a really,
[00:39:42.290]really clever model
[00:39:43.610]called the balance missing crossing design
[00:39:46.480]where in our case,
[00:39:48.290]Texas A&M and we each contributed 25 males,
[00:39:51.480]so we have 50 males.
[00:39:53.020]We each contributed 50 females.
[00:39:54.744]So we have a hundred females.
[00:39:58.320]If you made all possible combinations with 150 lines,
[00:40:01.610]you'd have 11,175 hybrids.
[00:40:05.300]And that's way more than I can test.
[00:40:07.300]We're a large program, but we can't test 11,000 hybrids.
[00:40:12.200]But then our colleagues in Germany came up
[00:40:13.397]with a really slick method where if you use
[00:40:15.823]the genotyping tools that we have available
[00:40:19.080]you can create 700 hybrids
[00:40:22.550]and estimate the remaining 10,475.
[00:40:28.860]And so that's what we did.
[00:40:30.030]Now the way that's done is we took 25 males.
[00:40:33.710]And then each of those males is crossed to 14 females
[00:40:36.760]out of the hundred.
[00:40:37.593]They're not the same 14, but it's 14 unique to each male
[00:40:42.850]so that all 100 females are represented.
[00:40:45.660]We have that, and then so does Texas.
[00:40:47.460]And we do that so in case there's a catastrophic event
[00:40:50.120]at one of our crossing blocks, we're not losing everything.
[00:40:55.030]And even if we lose one crossing block
[00:40:57.030]we can still estimate 7,750 hybrids.
[00:41:01.620]This is what genomic predictions can do.
[00:41:03.630]This is what a very clever mating design can do.
[00:41:07.239]We test them in the three major ecological zones
[00:41:11.700]We test them in two major ecological zones in Texas.
[00:41:15.810]Just gonna show you some of the data that we have
[00:41:18.030]from our hybrid trials here.
[00:41:21.240]Again, now remember, you wanna think that we have
[00:41:23.230]no background history of heterosis in our material.
[00:41:26.000]There's no reason to believe there should be heterosis
[00:41:28.150]in wheat other than 'til you're gonna breed for it.
[00:41:31.410]At Alliance, we had nine hybrids were better
[00:41:33.800]than the best line Freeman.
[00:41:35.140]I told you it was a great wheat.
[00:41:37.170]At Lincoln we had 18 hybrids better than Gallagher.
[00:41:40.050]That's actually an Oklahoma wheat
[00:41:41.370]that just did very well that year.
[00:41:42.890]We have 10 checks.
[00:41:44.830]North Platte, 200 out of 700 hybrids
[00:41:48.760]did better than the best pure line.
[00:41:52.610]Hybrids are known to be far more climate resilient
[00:41:55.650]than our pure lines.
[00:41:57.290]And there was stress at North Platte.
[00:41:59.000]15% heterosis, sort of the magic number,
[00:42:02.098]and 200 hybrids were better than pure lines
[00:42:05.380]because of climate resiliency.
[00:42:07.420]Next year, Freeman had a spectacular year again at Alliance,
[00:42:10.700]no hybrid beat it.
[00:42:12.140]North Platte didn't have the stress.
[00:42:13.560]There were seven hybrids; Lincoln, 10 hybrids.
[00:42:16.930]Again, if you haven't bred for heterosis
[00:42:18.870]you shouldn't expect to find it.
[00:42:21.980]This is the money slide.
[00:42:23.750]This is the slide where Vicass used the predictions
[00:42:27.260]to generate where you have 150 parents across the top,
[00:42:31.372]150 parents across the side,
[00:42:35.580]and these are all possible hybrids; 11,175.
[00:42:41.480]Anything in red is predicted to be high.
[00:42:43.720]Anything in blue is predicted to be low-yielding.
[00:42:46.630]We're now validating our predictions
[00:42:48.490]to see if this method actually works.
[00:42:52.510]Now, I wanna come back and say
[00:42:54.930]I've shown you the varieties I've released.
[00:42:57.060]I've shown you some of the science we've worked on,
[00:42:59.458]but my legacy will always be the people.
[00:43:02.880]We've had great graduate students, and postdocs,
[00:43:05.610]and technicians, and visiting scientists,
[00:43:08.590]and summer crews that have really helped us out.
[00:43:13.970]I wanna stop here just for a second.
[00:43:16.220]These are special-ed children who worked
[00:43:19.601]cleaning our seed for us.
[00:43:21.260]And for a long time, we were a worksite
[00:43:23.490]for the Lincoln Public Schools to give them training
[00:43:25.641]beyond sort of the normal education.
[00:43:28.690]They've since closed the program,
[00:43:30.850]but we still remember these young scholars very, very well.
[00:43:35.850]And I've always been pleased to think
[00:43:37.980]that at a university of higher education
[00:43:41.310]where we had some of the very best graduate students,
[00:43:44.400]and postdocs, and other people come through,
[00:43:47.520]we also had room for our special-ed students
[00:43:50.200]to give them an opportunity.
[00:43:51.851]And I just love these kids to death.
[00:43:53.930]They worked their heart outs for us,
[00:43:55.280]and we enjoyed them right up until the program stopped.
[00:43:59.340]Again, we have lots of colleagues,
[00:44:01.050]lots of great summer students that have helped us out,
[00:44:03.410]and our harvest crews.
[00:44:05.860]Done wonderful things for us.
[00:44:08.610]And most of the time we've had pretty good fun.
[00:44:12.058]Now, a couple of things that I've learned along the way.
[00:44:15.130]Best advice I ever got as a grad student was to do your job.
[00:44:19.446]You know, there's only one small grains breeder
[00:44:21.670]hired at the University of Nebraska,
[00:44:23.530]and if I'm not doing my job, there's no one to cover for me.
[00:44:28.140]So do your job.
[00:44:30.200]My goal was always to work hard enough
[00:44:32.290]and be successful enough that it would easier
[00:44:35.110]just to let me be me than to question or hassle me.
[00:44:39.992]And I think generally that's worked.
[00:44:41.450]If you have job you love, you never work a day in your life.
[00:44:46.560]If you're successful in wheat,
[00:44:49.010]they will let you work on wheat and barley.
[00:44:52.634]You want to treat your employees
[00:44:54.491]like you want your supervisor to treat you.
[00:44:57.100]When I went to the USDA, the first thing I did
[00:45:01.200]was I was given a supervisory course
[00:45:05.090]and they asked us, "What would you like your supervisors
[00:45:07.347]"to work with you?"
[00:45:08.180]And we came up with this magnificent list, okay?
[00:45:12.040]And at the end of it, the instructor said, "Great.
[00:45:15.917]"Do you do all that for your employees?
[00:45:17.957]"The ones you supervise?"
[00:45:20.151]And the answer was, "Oops, maybe not."
[00:45:24.540]If you have to have something done, do it on time.
[00:45:27.940]There's no value in waiting.
[00:45:29.490]I'm extremely proud that the barley project,
[00:45:32.620]Hatch project, was 002 'til they changed their numbering.
[00:45:36.180]And the wheat project was 055.
[00:45:38.220]No one ever had changed that.
[00:45:41.890]We've always got our patch project renewals in on time.
[00:45:44.680]We never lost our number.
[00:45:47.130]If you enjoy the opportunities that are given you,
[00:45:49.647]and if given an opportunity, make the best of it,
[00:45:52.490]be grateful, and leave graciously and respectfully.
[00:45:56.110]Everybody tells you about how to be a young scientist,
[00:45:58.490]how to be a successful mid-career scientist.
[00:46:01.080]And nobody talks to you about what it's like to retire.
[00:46:03.960]And the point is leave graciously and respectfully.
[00:46:06.780]In breeding, it's easy for the breeder to sort of
[00:46:10.286]want to bask one more minute in the glory
[00:46:13.810]of being the lead breeder.
[00:46:16.310]When you have a new breeder here, let them be the breeder.
[00:46:20.170]My predecessor, I asked him, I had 14 days on the job.
[00:46:23.480]I had to go out to western Nebraska
[00:46:25.030]and talk about varieties.
[00:46:27.150]And I said, "John, do you wanna come out and do it?
[00:46:29.047]"You've bred them all."
[00:46:29.990]And he said, "Nope, I'm not gonna do it."
[00:46:32.052]And I said, "John, you won't hurt my feelings about it."
[00:46:36.240]He said, "No.
[00:46:37.247]"The biggest problem that breeders have
[00:46:39.607]"is they get in the way of the new one.
[00:46:42.657]"If I go out, they'll ask me the questions.
[00:46:44.767]"All the questions from here on out belong with you."
[00:46:48.516]And he was right.
[00:46:49.440]And that's the way I want to leave, too.
[00:46:52.810]Life is short and enjoy it.
[00:46:54.120]Just wanna give you a few things,
[00:46:55.490]and then I'll be close to finishing up.
[00:46:57.650]This is the great Citadel in Aleppo.
[00:47:01.640]Right across was a police station.
[00:47:03.260]I wanted to hop the fence where all the Syrians were
[00:47:05.460]getting a better picture of the Citadel.
[00:47:08.010]But before that the police station,
[00:47:09.880]everybody's out on their smoking break,
[00:47:11.450]I convinced them to take a picture.
[00:47:13.400]They thought I was a good guy.
[00:47:14.930]Everybody thought when I went to Syria
[00:47:16.280]it'd be a hostage situation.
[00:47:17.690]In fact, it was a wonderful trip.
[00:47:19.826]After they figured I was okay, they let me hop the fence.
[00:47:22.710]I got my great picture.
[00:47:24.570]This is Palmyra in Syria,
[00:47:26.500]now totally destroyed due to ISIS,
[00:47:28.750]but I gave one of my better lectures there.
[00:47:30.460]You can see the attendance was spectacular.
[00:47:33.292]This is a printing press.
[00:47:34.670]Doesn't look very important
[00:47:35.730]but this is in the great Library of Alexandria.
[00:47:38.730]The greatest library of ancient times
[00:47:40.640]Egypt has built one of the greatest modern libraries here.
[00:47:44.260]I went to Peru two times, and on the third trip
[00:47:47.900]finally decided it was time to see Machu Picchu.
[00:47:52.560]This slide is Hellfire Beach in Western Australia.
[00:47:55.730]The colors don't do it justice.
[00:47:57.140]The sand is as white as flour that you buy.
[00:47:59.730]The water is clearer than what you see in your bathtub.
[00:48:02.780]It's Christmas Day.
[00:48:05.450]I didn't take a sabbatical in my 34 years,
[00:48:07.860]but I did take a change of duty station
[00:48:09.810]which is a mini-sabbatical.
[00:48:11.160]It was four months in Australia.
[00:48:12.940]I recommend that everybody do it.
[00:48:15.350]I had to give a talk in Burundi,
[00:48:16.830]or had to go to a meeting in Burundi.
[00:48:19.040]I always wanted to do a safari.
[00:48:20.720]This is in Kenya, Masai Mara.
[00:48:22.650]The giraffes and the wildebeests.
[00:48:24.170]If you ever go to CIMMYT, their headquarters in Mexico City,
[00:48:27.670]this is the Pyramid of the Sun.
[00:48:30.250]It's right outside of their headquarters.
[00:48:32.730]Been to India four times, the Taj Mahal twice.
[00:48:35.240]This is right at sunset.
[00:48:37.260]The colors are spectacular.
[00:48:39.270]Take advantage of your opportunities.
[00:48:42.494]I want to introduce who's next: Catherine Frels.
[00:48:44.640]She'll be outstanding.
[00:48:45.790]Really pleased to have her be my successor.
[00:48:48.460]And I'm also very proud that UNL, in the midst of a pandemic
[00:48:51.410]and budget cuts filled this position.
[00:48:54.600]You probably haven't met Dr. Jeff Boehm yet.
[00:48:57.110]He's the new USDA ARS scientist.
[00:48:59.380]He came in the middle of the COVID pandemic.
[00:49:03.210]Hasn't been on campus much.
[00:49:04.580]He replaces Bob Graybosch.
[00:49:06.580]There'll be another USDA, ARS scientist
[00:49:08.293]specialing in wheat and barley genetics coming soon.
[00:49:11.990]So they'll have three geneticists breeder,
[00:49:13.740]which is what it was like when I first came here.
[00:49:16.190]And I'm thinking of all the good work that Catherine,
[00:49:18.470]Jeff, and the new scientist will do together.
[00:49:20.500]It'll be fantastic.
[00:49:23.010]Anytime you see a turtle up on top of a fence post,
[00:49:26.920]you know he had to have some help.
[00:49:29.410]And I want to give you this slide.
[00:49:31.070]When I was in Syria,
[00:49:32.709]there were people that were just magnificent.
[00:49:36.150]They took us from our hotel, to ICARDA
[00:49:38.490]where we were doing our program review,
[00:49:39.810]helped us with the clerical work,
[00:49:41.420]helped us get to the airport,
[00:49:42.780]helped us get through customs, all those types of things,
[00:49:46.010]made our meals and whatnot.
[00:49:47.320]And at the end of the trip, I asked them and I said,
[00:49:49.399]"Would you mind, could I get a photo?
[00:49:51.357]"Because you've been so kind to us."
[00:49:53.000]They treated us like prince and princesses.
[00:49:55.580]And they said, "Sure but we're gonna wait a day."
[00:49:57.450]I said, "Okay, whatever you want."
[00:49:59.647]And the reason was the next day they came
[00:50:02.180]and they didn't wear their work clothes.
[00:50:03.690]They wear their clothes for getting a photograph.
[00:50:07.250]And they told me at the end of it
[00:50:09.150]that no one who'd ever visited ICARDA
[00:50:11.690]had ever asked for a photograph with the staff
[00:50:14.270]that so graciously supported them.
[00:50:16.600]And I bring this up because you need to remember
[00:50:19.430]if you want to differentiate yourself,
[00:50:22.160]saying thank you's a good thing.
[00:50:25.080]And for that, I want to end here.
[00:50:27.190]For 34 years I've had the honor and privilege
[00:50:30.205]of stewarding the Nebraska Small Grains breeding effort.
[00:50:34.400]I've had unbelievable cooperation from growers,
[00:50:37.300]seed dealers, millers, bakers, the USDA,
[00:50:40.600]university colleagues, wonderful technologists,
[00:50:43.900]graduate students, postdocs, visiting scientists,
[00:50:46.580]research assistant, associate professors,
[00:50:49.060]and student helpers.
[00:50:49.893]They're all listed here.
[00:50:50.726]I can't give you all their names,
[00:50:52.210]but I really wanna thank them.
[00:50:54.130]They made this program what it was.
[00:50:55.925]Not a variety that I've released
[00:50:57.910]wasn't touched and made better by them.
[00:51:00.720]But I also wanna thank the great farm and facility crews,
[00:51:03.600]the clerical people, the budget people,
[00:51:05.177]and the personnel help.
[00:51:06.980]I mean, they kept me out of trouble
[00:51:08.620]in more ways, and I make more mistakes before breakfast
[00:51:11.210]than most people make in a day,
[00:51:12.490]and they helped me immensely.
[00:51:15.150]But most of all,
[00:51:16.300]I wanna thank the University of Nebraska for supporting me.
[00:51:19.500]And now my successor.
[00:51:21.580]They allowed me to be the scientist that I wanted to be,
[00:51:25.000]to be the person I wanted to be.
[00:51:27.730]And for that, I am eternally grateful.
[00:51:29.690]I'm proud to be a Husker.
[00:51:31.310]I work for Nebraska.
[00:51:33.080]And thank you.
[00:51:35.350]Thank you very much Stephen.
[00:51:36.990]From Chet Frances, he's asking
[00:51:39.073]what is the process you follow to propose, vet,
[00:51:41.803]and then name the new variety?
[00:51:45.380]Well, I laugh at that because I like breeding them;
[00:51:49.900]I don't like naming them.
[00:51:51.940]I don't think I'm particularly good at that.
[00:51:53.590]So I usually ask my colleagues
[00:51:56.320]what the wheat name should be.
[00:51:58.420]And they usually give me great names,
[00:52:00.770]and then we sort of debate it, and negotiate it,
[00:52:03.000]and we go from there.
[00:52:05.140]The name Ruth, which I think is a spectacular name
[00:52:07.610]in honor of Ruth Miller Moore,
[00:52:09.580]that was suggested by Mary Gutierri.
[00:52:13.040]Alliance, I think was suggested by one of the growers.
[00:52:16.300]We released a wheat called Harry,
[00:52:17.930]and that was in honor of one of the greatest seedsmen
[00:52:19.970]that I ever worked with.
[00:52:22.510]We would have liked to name one Fred.
[00:52:24.710]We couldn't because that one had already been used,
[00:52:26.183]because there was another great seedsman
[00:52:28.150]that totally deserved a wheat named after them.
[00:52:31.780]We did name one McGill
[00:52:33.630]because he was the first barley breeder here.
[00:52:35.820]We wanted to honor Dave McGill.
[00:52:37.820]And so we named one that way.
[00:52:40.360]So you plant interesting information about
[00:52:42.700]of course the breeding program.
[00:52:44.110]GWAS was quite interesting to me.
[00:52:47.300]I was wondering about your opinion
[00:52:50.036]impacting characterizing the mechanisms under the control
[00:52:53.640]of the genes that has been identified by GWAS.
[00:52:56.140]How do you see that as a potential strategy to
[00:52:58.420]continue to improve crop performance?
[00:53:02.520]That's an excellent question, Marc.
[00:53:04.140]And so the one thing that always bothers me
[00:53:08.330]is when we look at breeding, we say it's a numbers game.
[00:53:13.900]And it really annoys me
[00:53:15.390]because everything we do is actually a numbers game.
[00:53:17.770]Statistics is a numbers game.
[00:53:20.100]And so what you really want is to have an understanding
[00:53:24.490]of where to ask the questions.
[00:53:26.260]I think Einstein had a question once, which,
[00:53:28.157]the highest form of intelligence is vision, not wisdom.
[00:53:32.390]And what he was saying is if you ask the right question
[00:53:35.310]that's more important, perhaps,
[00:53:36.740]than having all the knowledge.
[00:53:38.550]And so to me you have to have the underlying knowledge
[00:53:42.230]to think about how things work.
[00:53:44.361]And the reason for that is there's a thing in breeding
[00:53:47.700]called the happy home for a trait.
[00:53:50.320]And so you may discover a trait,
[00:53:52.610]and let's talk about the Green Revolution wheats.
[00:53:56.110]The Rht genes were well-documented,
[00:53:59.590]and specifically one that's not as used as commonly,
[00:54:02.260]Rht8, was commonly used in Italy in the 1920s.
[00:54:07.170]But they didn't have fertilizer.
[00:54:09.050]They didn't have a lot of other things.
[00:54:10.790]So no one thought that gene was any value.
[00:54:14.400]But as soon as they needed strong straw
[00:54:16.460]because they started using fertilizer to feed the plant,
[00:54:20.800]then that gene became extremely important.
[00:54:24.530]And so now, if you look at it, people are now looking
[00:54:28.530]at the semi-dwarfing genes and saying,
[00:54:30.117]"What can I do to get away from the shorter coleoptile
[00:54:35.657]"which is a pleiotropic effect of that trait?"
[00:54:38.790]And that's where CRISPR/Cas9,
[00:54:40.920]as well as the natural genetic variation becomes huge.
[00:54:44.540]So that to understand the molecular mechanisms
[00:54:47.850]with the tools we have available today
[00:54:51.000]becomes absolutely critical.
[00:54:54.450]Now, did that answer your question?
[00:54:57.387]I mean, yeah.
[00:54:58.220]Thank you very much.
[00:54:59.053]From Esten Mason...
[00:55:00.630]Esten Mason is the new breeder replacing Scott Haley
[00:55:04.470]at Colorado State.
[00:55:05.950]I gotta give a shout out to Scott Haley.
[00:55:07.850]He and I have worked together for most of my career.
[00:55:10.770]And Esten'll be a wonderful new breeder at Colorado State.
[00:55:14.170]So Esten, what's Esten's question?
[00:55:17.289]Esten asks what is the hardest trait to breed
[00:55:21.762]throughout your career?
[00:55:24.080]The hardest trait to breed
[00:55:26.430]has probably been fusarium head blight.
[00:55:29.620]And you can use major genes, which we have done,
[00:55:35.660]but it's a very low heritable trait,
[00:55:38.240]and it's very environmentally sensitive,
[00:55:40.930]and it's very difficult for us to actually work with.
[00:55:44.569]Winter hardiness is great to work with.
[00:55:46.650]I mean, if the plant dies, you can't harvest it.
[00:55:49.010]It's wonderful to get rid of winter-tender material.
[00:55:52.130]Yield is difficult,
[00:55:53.300]but you have the resources to go after it well.
[00:55:58.460]The other traits we look at are end-use quality,
[00:56:00.800]and you can see that we've fixed almost all of our lines
[00:56:04.830]to have the better alleles for end-use quality.
[00:56:07.060]So that's fairly well taken care of.
[00:56:09.480]And then the last one that we work on
[00:56:11.070]that's absolutely obligatory for us is stem rust
[00:56:13.260]because when it comes, it comes like a scythe.
[00:56:15.700]It's a devastating disease, but we have multiple genes
[00:56:19.340]that are available, multiple major genes,
[00:56:21.190]and our assays are extremely good.
[00:56:23.260]Stephen Wegulo and Julie Stevens have just been fantastic
[00:56:26.347]at screening that.
[00:56:27.440]We work with Bob Boden, and we work with Yue Jin
[00:56:32.337]and Matthew Rouse up in the Cereal Disease Lab.
[00:56:36.579]Those we can all handle.
[00:56:38.170]The ones that are tough are the ones
[00:56:40.740]that are low heritable trait,
[00:56:42.720]you don't necessarily have great variation,
[00:56:46.170]native resistance does work.
[00:56:47.830]I would say another trait that's really hard to work with
[00:56:50.000]is bacterial streak.
[00:56:52.060]They don't see that very often in Colorado,
[00:56:53.890]but we see it here.
[00:56:54.910]And that's a really nasty one to do.
[00:56:57.410]If you're looking at triticale,
[00:56:59.030]triticale always has a head that looks like
[00:57:01.150]it should yield 150 bushel,
[00:57:03.540]or that would be 10 metric tons per hectare, or more.
[00:57:07.160]And it never does.
[00:57:08.510]And it's all seed fertility.
[00:57:10.140]You know, the (audio distorts) set the seed.
[00:57:12.960]That's a trait that just drives me crazy.
[00:57:16.000]Do you have a favorite variety, and why,
[00:57:18.310]or is the newest one always the one?
[00:57:22.050]Well, I guess I've always felt lucky.
[00:57:27.170]So Arapahoe was the first impression.
[00:57:31.100]You only get one chance to make a first impression.
[00:57:34.230]And it was so outstanding.
[00:57:36.980]I've always liked Overland.
[00:57:39.100]I've always liked Settler.
[00:57:41.440]Robidoux is a remarkable wheat for our state, I would say.
[00:57:47.280]I've always liked Alliance
[00:57:48.840]because of its root rot potential.
[00:57:52.260]So there are wheats that are favorite.
[00:57:56.320]Are my new ones necessarily the favorite?
[00:57:59.540]It's a little bit like when the baby is first born
[00:58:02.520]you're not quite sure how it's gonna grow up.
[00:58:04.860]So you get to be pretty humble.
[00:58:07.020]I mean, like if I told you my newest one was Culver,
[00:58:10.660]or my newest one was NHH14913-3, and it was my favorite,
[00:58:16.470]both of those completely failed,
[00:58:18.610]that would not be a good thing.
[00:58:20.858]So you kinda gotta get a little perspective on them
[00:58:22.860]before you do that.
[00:58:24.400]And usually it's the growers that make them successful.
[00:58:27.238]I would like to bounce back
[00:58:28.870]on a different type of question.
[00:58:31.140]Very lucky from a PhD student.
[00:58:32.690]How do you transfer from a PhD student
[00:58:34.900]to wheat breeder/geneticist after graduation?
[00:58:37.960]Could you provide any advice?
[00:58:41.260]You know, what I would do.
[00:58:44.300]Okay, so, first of all,
[00:58:47.020]I was extremely lucky in my career.
[00:58:48.950]I went to the USDA,
[00:58:50.780]and they don't have the very strict tenure requirements
[00:58:54.780]that the university does, and they have better funding
[00:58:58.320]if you go into a well-funded program.
[00:58:59.990]And so it was a great place to start.
[00:59:02.750]But you can get hobbled in there a little bit
[00:59:05.480]with some of the administrative aspects.
[00:59:07.840]And so from there, I went to Monsanto,
[00:59:09.590]and from there I came here.
[00:59:12.130]And I came here as an associate professor with tenure.
[00:59:15.300]So I didn't have to go through all the hassle
[00:59:17.430]that young students would have to do.
[00:59:20.280]But the first thing I would do is
[00:59:25.150]plant breeding is based on continuity.
[00:59:28.610]And what I would recommend is you talk
[00:59:31.140]to the previous breeder, if they're still there,
[00:59:34.210]and ask them the types of questions
[00:59:36.640]that Esten is asking now,
[00:59:38.290]because I'm sure he's asked them to Scott.
[00:59:41.660]And then what I would do is look at the program
[00:59:45.280]and think about what you'd wanna change,
[00:59:47.120]but not make the changes.
[00:59:48.410]And the great story of that is Norm Borlaug,
[00:59:51.091]Nobel Laureate, and then developer the World Food Prize,
[00:59:55.390]but for peace.
[00:59:56.660]He went down to Mexico.
[00:59:59.020]And everybody flood irrigated the fields,
[01:00:01.160]and then they planted wheat.
[01:00:03.220]And Norm looked at that and said,
[01:00:04.167]"This is the dumbest thing he's ever seen."
[01:00:05.810]You know, you get ready to plant your wheat,
[01:00:08.500]then you put water on it, which means you got a delay
[01:00:11.260]'cause you gotta let the fields dry out, and then you plant.
[01:00:15.320]So he planted straight into the field, okay?
[01:00:18.660]And what he discovered was that every insect in that ground
[01:00:23.010]ate his wheat.
[01:00:25.088]And so he then flooded the field,
[01:00:27.700]killed all the insects that were in the soil,
[01:00:30.100]and then he planted.
[01:00:31.690]And learn from your previous person,
[01:00:35.650]and particularly the technicians that are still with you,
[01:00:40.340]'cause they're the corporate wisdom, okay?
[01:00:42.130]They know why things worked and didn't work.
[01:00:44.230]They're the boots on the ground.
[01:00:45.460]You can't give them enough credit.
[01:00:47.440]And the farm managers and people like that.
[01:00:50.350]And after you see that, and you learn what they have done,
[01:00:53.820]and what worked and didn't work,
[01:00:55.120]then you start making your modifications.
[01:00:57.780]But be careful; don't make them too quickly, okay?
[01:01:01.060]And the programs that I've seen that have failed
[01:01:03.070]are where the breeder never talked to the previous breeder,
[01:01:06.350]and threw out germ plasm
[01:01:07.680]not knowing how good that germ plasm really was.
[01:01:10.890]You know, it takes 12 years from a cross to finish.
[01:01:13.780]If you use double haploids, it takes seven years.
[01:01:16.844]You know, you don't get the chance,
[01:01:19.654]you always come in midstream,
[01:01:21.380]so don't throw out things
[01:01:23.090]that you don't know enough about why they're valuable.
[01:01:26.170]I just want to ask one more question
[01:01:28.073]from the audience before maybe we close.
[01:01:31.214]And they are related questions.
[01:01:33.220]Does wheat need to change to fit into this model of ag?
[01:01:38.130]What trait procedures might be needed?
[01:01:40.130]And the second question related to that
[01:01:41.810]is what are the main hurdles for progressing hybrid wheat,
[01:01:45.840]and how do you think they'd be overcome?
[01:01:50.444]The regenerative agriculture, I guess to me,
[01:01:53.980]I'm not sure I know the definition well enough
[01:01:56.740]to give a good answer.
[01:01:59.247]But I do feel that wheat is
[01:02:01.360]the most widely-grown crop in the world.
[01:02:04.080]It has the greatest flexibility of all crops in the world.
[01:02:07.030]I mean it can take brutal winters,
[01:02:09.659]and at the same time it's grown in irrigated deserts,
[01:02:13.020]things like this.
[01:02:14.550]So clearly it has a place in the world
[01:02:18.370]when it comes to regenerative agriculture.
[01:02:20.830]When I know more about exactly what they mean,
[01:02:23.250]then I think we should look at it.
[01:02:25.070]I also think that the related crops: triticale, and barley,
[01:02:29.305]and oats, and other things also have a place in there.
[01:02:32.860]And we need to not only look at variation within a genus
[01:02:36.460]and a species, but also within the tribe, you might say,
[01:02:40.340]that they're part of.
[01:02:42.120]And what are the main hurdles for progressing hybrid wheat,
[01:02:44.700]and how do they be overcome?
[01:02:47.030]It's pretty clear
[01:02:48.800]that the biggest hurdle is the production side.
[01:02:53.540]I think we're gonna be able to find heterosis.
[01:02:54.627]That's gonna be easy, I think.
[01:02:57.400]The difficulty will be finding a way of scaling it up.
[01:03:01.190]And that's really where the companies are looking at it
[01:03:05.260]the most right now is they can find heterosis.
[01:03:08.720]They've got all the tools, but you know,
[01:03:11.080]it's not like hybrid corn where you can manually detassel.
[01:03:14.790]There's a lot of things that the crops that were built
[01:03:17.206]to create hybrids, or to prove that hybrids are good,
[01:03:21.650]just can't be used in a perfect flower, you might say.
[01:03:26.520]Thank you again for your talk.
[01:03:29.710]And I hope we will see each other again
[01:03:31.965]in the next few months.
[01:03:33.386]I hope so.
[01:03:34.340]And again, thanks to the seminar committee for inviting me.
[01:03:37.290]It's a great honor to be here.
[01:03:39.000]And thanks to all my friends and colleagues
[01:03:40.915]within the university and outside the university
[01:03:44.060]who've been so gracious to me.
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