Studies and characterizes maize and wheat genetic diversity to use it in breeding programs that develop wheat varieties and maize hybrids improved through conventional technologies that are better adapted to climate change, more resistant to pests and diseases, and of higher yield potential. In 2015, MasAgro Biodiversidad’s main results were:
• MasAgro Biodiversidad begun the most comprehensive study of maize genetic diversity by obtaining, processing and analyzing the world’s largest genotypic data set that will help scientists identify new genes of interest for maize breeding programs.
Example of a maize genetic diversity map showing similarities and differences between samples from CIMMYT’s gene bank: CIMMYT elite lines (green); drought tolerant lines (red and orange); heat tolerant lines (yellow); heat and drought tolerant lines (purple).
• More than 2,000 million genotypic data and more than 870,000 phenotypic data of maize field trails have been processed and uploaded to MasAgro Biodiversidad’s database and repository to make them available to the scientific community via the project website.
• A high level of Tar Spot resistance was confirmed in maize landraces native of Oaxaca and Guatemala that will be used to breed new resistant maize lines.
Maize varieties susceptible and resistant to Tar Spot in El Portillo, Chiapas.
• MasAgro Biodiversidad begun the most comprehensive genetic diversity study of wheat and its wild relatives by obtaining, processing and analyzing the world’s largest genotypic data set that will help scientists identify new genes of interest for wheat breeding programs.
• More than 2,600 million genotypic data and over 650,000 phenotypic data of wheat field trials have been processed and uploaded to MasAgro Biodiversidad database and file repository to make them available to the scientific community via the project website.
• A core collection of 1,100 Mexican wheat lines was tested in the field.
• 12 Mexican students have made internships and/or professional stays with scientists conducting research for MasAgro Biodiversidad.