Trait Development

HPI is committed to developing and applying cutting-edge technology to the design of enhanced value traits in wheat and sorghum. We strive to translate knowledge of genome structure and function into new, outwardly observable and usable plant properties.

Wheat Trait Development

Wheat generally faces a 30 percent yield loss due to abiotic and biotic stresses. HPI will work to improve wheat yields by identifying and developing beneficial traits via the following research initiatives:

  • Establishment of detailed phenotypic characterization of wheat lines
  • Sequencing of the wheat genome
  • Development of single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) marker resources
  • Identification of SNP markers associated with the most useful wheat breading traits
  • Reduce the effects of heat stress on grain fill in wheat
  • Improve the performance of wheat in milling and food preparation
  • Silence genes to enable resistance to viruses such as Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus and Tricticum Mosaic Virus
  • Evaluate the cancer-prevention roles of wheat lignin in animals


Sorghum Trait Development

A well-established tolerance to environmental stresses has allowed sorghum to flourish as a source of grain and feed for livestock as well as a promising crop for human food and bioenergy. However, sorghum plantings are limited by a number of critical factors. HPI will work to address these limitations through the following research objectives:

  • Phenotyping and marker discovery for biomass
  • Improved gene transfer process
  • Drought tolerance
  • Cold and early planting tolerance
  • Grain quality