Plant Breeding

CAHNRS faculty lead over a dozen plant breeding programs focused on variety development, disease resistance, stress tolerance, molecular and computational breeding methodology, and participatory breeding.

About breeding research at WSU

Washington State University and the USDA-ARS have multiple plant breeding programs based in Washington. Breeding efforts focus on developing cultivars with high yield potential, excellent end-use quality, and resistance to biotic and abiotic stress. We focus on adaptation to the diverse climatic regions of Washington State as critical breeding goals that reduce risk to farmers and sustain crop production systems. Our research efforts focus on disease resistance, cold tolerance, drought and heat tolerance, end-use quality and nutritional density, and low input systems. The WSU and USDA breeding programs use doubled haploid breeding, marker-assisted selection, genomics, and high throughput phenotyping (phenomics) to run more productive breeding programs. Our programs have a long record of successful cultivar release and adoption by local farmers. The research and germplasm that we develop increases economic return to local farmers, supports the global grain trade of the Pacific Northwest, and provides food to the world.