Plant breeding for compositional characteristics, resistance, and yield are some of the most effective ways to improve net energy production in agriculture. This program emphasizes genetics to advance efficiencies.
Our USDA/UGA plant genetics team use molecular markers as a breeding tool to identify specific plant traits desirable for new plant varieties. Assisted selection techniques such as this speed up new variety development by identifying the best germplasm to use and, at the seedling stage, quickly identify the new plants that carry the desired traits of interest. This technique has cut the development time for new varieties with a desired trait like nematode resistance from 15 years to 26 months.