April 6-7, 2017 | Lincoln, Nebraska
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2017 NRIC speakers
portrait of Geoff Morris
Dr. Geoff Morris
Kansas State University
Genome-environment associations in sorghum landraces predict adaptive traits
10:10 -10:40 am, Thursday 6 April 2017
Improving environmental adaptation in crops is essential for food security, but phenotyping adaptive traits remains a major bottleneck. If associations between SNP alleles and environment of origin in crop landraces reflect adaptation, then these could be used to predict phenotypic variation for adaptive traits. We tested this proposition in the global food crop sorghum, characterizing 1943 georeferenced landraces at 404,627 SNPs and quantifying allelic associations with bioclimatic and soil gradients. Environment-associated SNPs predicted genotype-by-environment interactions under experimental drought stress and aluminum toxicity, suggesting genomic signatures of adaptation may be useful for germplasm identification and marker-assisted selection. (Modified from Lasky, et al. 2015 Sci. Adv.)
Geoff Morris is an assistant professor in the Department of Agronomy at Kansas State University. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Ecology & Evolution at the University of Chicago. The goal of his research is to develop genomic knowledge and tools that accelerate the genetic improvement of climate-resilient crops. His group's research is focused on the genomics of climate adaptation in sorghum. Ongoing projects include improving chilling tolerance of grain sorghum for the Great Plains, building genome-phenome maps of ecophysiological traits for energy sorghum, and developing genomics-enabled breeding pipelines to improve drought adaptation of dual-purpose sorghums in West Africa and Haiti.