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Dr. Sindhuja Sankaran Phenomics Lab
Arron H. Carter, Associate Professor, O.A. Vogel Endowed Chair of Wheat Breeding & Genetics, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Pullman, WA

Carter leads the winter wheat breeding program with a main focus to develop new cultivars for the state of Washington that have high yield potential, stress tolerance, and good end-use quality.  His research activities include using genomic selection for end-use quality traits, identifying genes associated with disease resistance, dissecting the underlying plant response to abiotic stresses, and effective utilization of high-throughput phenotyping in breeding programs. His cultivars make up roughly 35% of the production in the Pacific Northwest. He works very closely with grower stakeholders to ensure new cultivars are meeting the demands of changing markets.

Michael O. Pumphrey, Associate Professor, O.A. Vogel Endowed Chair of Wheat Breeding & Genetics, Department of Crop and Soil Sciences, Pullman, WA

Pumphrey leads the spring wheat breeding program. The WSU wheat breeding programs collaborate on multiple market classes, including soft white, hard red, club, and hard white wheat. The spring wheat program has released new cultivars that are grown on over 50% spring wheat acreage in Pacific Northwest.  Cultivars released have increased the annual value of Washington’s wheat crop by at least $20 million. These programs are supported by both federal and state funds, and the Washington Grain Commission. In addition, WSU germplasm are frequently used as parents in private breeding programs and contribute to adaptation, disease resistance, and yield potential. His program also integrates technological advancements for selecting new wheat cultivars.

Program Description:

In WSU’s winter and spring wheat breeding program, phenomics data are used as proxy measurements for many agronomic traits, and used to make selections and advance lines released as new cultivars. Multiple systems such as handheld, tractor-mounted, and UAV-mounted sensors are used. Research is mainly conducted under field conditions, but sensor platforms (Phenospex PlantEye, Drought Spotter, LemnaTec Scanalyzer) in greenhouses are available to select superior wheat lines that advance to field testing. Students can be involved in data collection and developing prediction models for performance (agronomic, yield) evaluation.

Location: Pullman, WA


Dr. Mike Pumphrey in Lind, WA

Dr. Arron Carter with graduate students


Wheat breeding plots