Plant and Environmental Sci
Non Technical Summary
Current organic grain production depends on cultivars that have been bred for non-organic production, but these are often not suited to organic production. Pulse crops, field pea show great potential for biofortification, and are suited to meeting consumer demand for organic plant-based protein, prebiotic carbohydrates, and micronutrients especially within allergen- and gluten-free markets. Field pea, a new southern cash crop, can be planted in late December to mid-January, with the crop then harvested -- just in time for planting sorghum. Sorghum is an excellent crop for South because of its high productivity and stress tolerance. Very little science has been done with respect to reducing the yield gap or developing genomic tools for selecting both field pea and sorghum cultivars with increased nutritional quality for organic farming systems. The objectives of this project are to (1) develop biofortified organic field pea and sorghum varieties using on-farm field selection with aims to increase crop yield and nutritional quality; (2) develop genomic and bioinformatics capabilities to address the genetic diversity of desired agronomic and nutritional traits; and (3) develop on-farm educational and extension activities.
Animal Health Component
Research Effort Categories
Goals / Objectives
Develop biofortified organic field pea and sorghum varieties using on-farm field selection with aims to (i) increase crop yield potential within organic farming systems, (ii) improve nutritional quality for human food and animal feed, e.g., high quality and quantity of protein, low digestible carbohydrates, and minerals as well as low phytate, and (iii) achieve ecological benefits, e.g., higher nitrogen use efficiency for subsequent cereal production.Develop genomic and bioinformatics capabilities to address the genetic diversity of desired agronomic and nutritional traits that will allow future breeding of biofortified cultivars with increased economic returns.Develop on-farm educational and extension activities, including (i) an experiential learning opportunity via a hands-on, field-oriented Organic Plant Breeding Summer Institute for undergraduate students, as well as on-farm training with organic producers from South Carolina, (ii) an information portal to assist organic producers with respect to production, variety selection, seed grading, nutritional quality, and marketing information, and (iii) grower-friendly extension educational materials and organization of an annual organic grower extension on-farm workshop.
A 350 member USDA Pea Single Plant plus Collection (PSPPC) from the USDA-ARS will be used for an association mapping study, and ~50 field pea elite cultivars in production and advanced breeding lines accessions from the USDA-ARS pulse breeding program will be used in on-farm selections. A collection of 50 landraces and elite lines from the Sorghum Association Panel will be selected based on previous multi-year phenotypic data generated in SC. The 50 field pea elite cultivars and advanced breeding lines will be planted in a randomized complete block design (RCBD) with two replicates at two on-farm locations. Each on-farm field pea trial will be followed with a spring planting of a commercial sorghum cultivar after pea plots are harvested. Agronomic and nutritional quality for human food and animal feed, e.g., high quality and quantity of protein, low digestible carbohydrates, and minerals as well as low phytate will be measured. Illumina sequencing for the advanced field pea/sorghum breeding lines and F1 hybrids will be conducted. Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) will be employed to identify genetic markers associated with individual traits. Range of outreach methods will be performed to develop on-farm educational and extension activities.