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Breeder's Toolbox

The breeder's toolbox cluster aims to generate a user-friendly breeding informatics platform and related databases that integrate genomic, genotypic and phenotypic data and to develop new technologies to accelerate breeding of superior forage cultivars for year-round grazing systems.


New DNA sequencing technologies have the potential to transform plant improvement strategies. Genetic mapping and genome-wide association studies coupled with functional genomics approaches utilizing transcriptomics, proteomics and/or metabolomics produce potentially useful datasets that could inform breeding strategies. The challenge is to organize, store, integrate and analyze these complex and large-scale biological data and represent them in a meaningful way so that knowledge can be extracted to answer biological questions and inform genome-assisted breeding approaches. The convergence of basic discoveries in plant science and breeding strategies will enable the development of enhanced cultivars with desired traits more effectively. These traits include increased yield under a variety of soil and climatic conditions, and stress tolerance that contribute to increased persistence of new cultivars.

Principal Investigators

Associated Projects

  • Alfalfa Breeder's Toolbox
  • Alfalfa genome sequencing (diploid and tetraploid)
  • Alfalfa gene expression atlas
  • Community resource for Medicago spp. information
  • Developing tools useful for breeders
  • Repository to store, analyze and query data related to multiple Forage 365 projects