A doubled haploid laboratory for Kansas wheat breeding: an economic analysis of biotechnology adoption.

Release Date: 
Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Barkley A, Chumley F. White Paper. 2010 Mar 25.

ABSTRACT:  This report provides an assessment and evaluation of the use of doubled haploid lines (DHs) to accelerate breeding and gene discovery in wheat breeding. The report includes a quantitative assessment and references to the relevant literature. The research project addresses three key points:

  • Overview of traditional breeding methods such as pedigree selection or bulk selection, comparing these methods to selection schemes that emphasize production and analysis of doubled haploid lines.
  • Economic impact of using doubled haploid lines to deliver new wheat varieties
  • Economic benefits of selecting from smaller populations, and improved efficiency of selection using doubled haploid lines.
  • Interviews with wheat breeders provided quantitative calibration of the major effects of a doubled haploid laboratory. The interviewed wheat breeders confirmed two major advantages to doubled haploid (DH) technology: (1) greatly accelerated time to market for new wheat varieties, and (2) faster genetic gains in wheat yields. An economic model was built based on previous literature, knowledge of the wheat industry, and information gleaned from the wheat breeder interviews. A baseline scenario was estimated for the most likely set of conditions facing the future of the introduction of a doubled haploid laboratory into the Great Plains wheat breeding industry.

The estimated results of the baseline case provided evidence that both of the advantages of DH methods listed above would provide truly large economic gains to the wheat industry, and to wheat consumers in Kansas, in the United States (US), and throughout the globe. While it can be challenging to forecast the future, the economic evaluation of the doubled haploid laboratory indicated that the large and socially significant returns are robust to the possibility of a wide range of future economic changes, including price and quantity movements in wheat markets.

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