Pressing on to Keep the Promise

Figure 11. A control plot of a current variety grown by wheat farmers (in front) and a plot of seeds from a new, true breeding ALS resistant line that can be further evaluated for other traits important to wheat farmers. (Image credit: A. Kohmetscher)

Because the F3 plants revealed the true breeding for resistance behavior of specific F2 plants, Dr. Baenziger and his breeding team could press on with their work to develop and deliver the promised ALS resistant line to farmers.  By applying the same kind of careful observations across generations that Mendel devised, Dr. Baenziger was confident he could predict that perfectly resistant plants he was selecting would produce only resistant offspring.  Because the wheat breeding team is concerned with many different characteristics that a farmer expects in the wheat they grow, their work will continue for several more years before they have kept their promise of a new herbicide resistant variety.   

Figure 12. Graduate students from the University of Nebraska Wheat Breeding team measure many traits in the process of selecting new varieties for the wheat farmer. (Image credit: A. Kohmetscher)

Finishing Up

Now complete this thinking like a plant breeder activity (Stripe Rust Activity.) again to test your improvement.

If you are interested in learning more about the plant breeding process you can visit this: Wheat Breeding Activity.