January 29, 2016

29/01/2016: Cornell wheat genetics and pathogen specialist to speak at AAAS Annual Meeting

Jessica Rutkoski, adjunct wheat breeder and quantitative geneticist at the International Maize and Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) and assistant professor at Cornell University, will speak at a 'Pathogens Without Borders' session at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, DC, USA on Sunday, February 14, 2016 from 8:00am - 9:30am.

She will lead a discussion titled 'Using big data and global partnerships to accelerate rates of genetic gain in wheat building plant pathogen surveillance networks in Sub-Saharan Africa.'

At Cornell, Prof Rutkoski teaches a course titled 'Selection Theory and Methods,' in which students learn how to maximise gain from selection in breeding programs. She is also an adjunct wheat breeder and quantitative geneticist at CIMMYT, where she evaluates new genomic-assisted breeding methods in the context of an effective large-scale wheat breeding program. Her research focuses on the implementation of genomic selection to accelerate genetic gain in wheat especially for the improvement of yield, abiotic stress tolerance and quantitative disease resistance to enhance durability.

The 'Pathogens Without Borders' session is part of the American Association of the Advancement of Science (AAAS) 2016 Annual Meeting.  
The session explores the challenges that arise from the flow of pathogens across borders, as well as potential solutions.
Prof Rutkoski’s presentation will examine how to harness DNA marker data, data on disease resistance, grain yield and aerially collected phenotypes from cooperators at various sites to develop prediction models that can identify the highest yielding and most resistant wheat lines in a range of environments. When applied in breeding, these prediction models can accelerate the rate of genetic improvement.Prof Rutkoski will also delve into the challenges to full implementation of new data-driven approaches in crop improvement, including data management, data sharing and cultural changes in relation to research and crop breeding.

The presentation will examine new methods of data collection, quantitative rust resistance, conventional breeding and genomic selection.
Prof Rutkoski will also show results from genomic selection validation studies.

The session will take place in Marshall Ballroom East, Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel, 2660 Woodley Rd NW, Washington, DC 20008.

Visit the CIMMYT website HERE.  

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