The work of the plant breeder and producer:

The table below summarizes some of the factors that dictate how hard a plant breeder will work to accomplish the goal of producing new varieties with desired grain quality traits and challenges a producer will encounter in different situations.

Table 1. Grain quality trait considerations

Factor Impact on work
1. Trait can be measured in the field with visual inspection Little extra work needed
2. Trait measured in the lab with NIR or other inexpensive assay Additional costs but does not limit numbers
3. Traits measured by time consuming, expensive assay Costly, imposes limits on numbers tested
4. Trait controlled by environment Breeder has less confidence in ability to select
5. Trait controlled mostly by genetics Breeder can select phenotypes that have desired genotypes
6. Trait controlled by a few genes Breeder can work with smaller numbers and get more predictable result
7. Trait controlled by many genes Breeder will need to work with larger numbers of offspring from each cross
8. Trait is recessive Easy to establish pure line, more challenging to maintain purity
9. Trait is dominant Pure lines need more testing, phenotype purity easier to maintain
10. Maternal trait Purity in field depends on seed planted
11. Biparental trait Producer will need to consider both females in their field and the male parents
12. Self pollinating crop Purity easier to maintain
13. Cross pollinating crop Purity more difficult to maintain