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The Age of -omics: Enabling Trait Selection in Wheat Variety Development
C. MILLER (1) (1) Heartland Plant Innovations, Manhattan, KS, U.S.A..

Historically, and still today, wheat breeders rely on visual phenotyping to select or eliminate lines from the early generation breeding material. Identifying unique phenotypes earlier in the variety development process ensures lines with novel genetics will be selected for continuation in the program. Whether it be end-product quality or disease resistance, the breeder’s ability to create a screening population far surpasses the resources needed to screen for valuable traits. Furthermore, traits like basic flour quality aren’t typically tested until year five of the breeding process after many thousands of lines have been eliminated. With the advancement of high throughput genetic sequencing, wheat breeders now have a cheap and fast tool to collect broad genetic information from thousands of lines with only a small amount of green tissue. Researchers have linked dozens of agronomic phenotypes to specific genetic markers and new discoveries have identified genetic markers for several end-product traits such as loaf volume. Many more product-quality markers have yet to be discovered. Our work aims to speed the identification of markers for end-product quality by employing multiple –omics based approaches to improve current genomic selection models.