Hybrid Breeding Workshop: Designing, Implementing and Managing a Breeding Program for Hybrid Crops

Corn field

August 10 – 12, 2021
9 a.m. – 3 p.m. CST

In-person in Goodding Learning Center
280 Plant Sciences Hall, East Campus
via Zoom

Cost: $75

corn field

Is this workshop for you?

Would you like to learn how to design, implement and manage a comprehensive breeding program that targets development and commercialization of a hybrid cultivar?

In this workshop you will learn:

  1. How to design a breeding pipeline that provides a continuous flow of breeding materials across years and generations, resulting in development and evaluation of potential parental lines used in commercial hybrids;
  2. How to design and create a hybrid development and evaluation program using parental lines from (1) above, such that decisions can be made on commercialization of superior hybrids;
  3. The consequences and implications of underlying genetic theory on the decisions made for 1 & 2 above; 
  4. The consequences and implications of resource limitations on the decisions made for 1 & 2, above.

The workshop will be presented in a hybrid (no pun intended!) format, with the daily sessions in 280 Plant Science Hall for those participants desiring direct instructor and participation interaction in a classroom setting.

Workshop is also being made available via Zoom for those participants for whom class-room participation is not an option. While the Workshop will be recorded for future viewing, those participating remotely via Zoom must participate live during the hours the workshop is being conducted. Zoom link will be sent upon registration.

The Workshop will target those individuals who are either students, (either degree or non-degree oriented) or early career professionals working in a plant breeding setting. However other plant breeding professionals may find the Workshop useful, be they from either an academic institution or private industry.

Because a significant portion of the Workshop will be interactive and to ensure adequate instructor/participant interactions, total number of participants will be limited to 35.

It is expected that each participant will have at a minimum an introductory understanding of plant breeding and exposure to introductory genetics.


What is covered in the workshop?

This workshop will take a holistic approach to the design of a comprehensive breeding program, a breeding program that results in the development of released or commercialized hybrid products. We will focus on the practical aspects of the design, organize and management of an ongoing breeding program, from an industry perspective. A complete pipeline will be described, beginning with decisions on breeding crosses used for parental line development, through all stages of inbreeding and evaluation and continuing through the process creating, evaluating and making decisions on commercialization of new hybrids.

We will emphasize the practical implications of restrictions on resources, with constant awareness of the implications of underlying genetic principals.

Once basic concepts and principles are covered by the instructors, the workshop will move into a live interactive mode between participants and instructors. A working assignment for participants  will be the development of a complete breeding and evaluation pipeline, culminating with a presentation and review of that pipeline to all participants of the workshop.

combining corn

Why take this workshop?

Breeding for a released or commercialized cultivar that is a hybrid brings a degree of complexity into the structure of a breeding program over and above the complexity of pure line breeding or breeding of synthetics or clones. Adding to that complexity are the issues of resource limitations, the management of germplasm, as well as the underlying genetic theory of hybrid breeding. This Workshop will unravel those complexities and present a stepwise, logical method of designing a comprehensive hybrid breeding program, understandable by the participants who have no, or at best limited, exposure breeding for a hybrid cultivar.


Keith Boldman

Keith Boldman

Research Scientist, Systems and Innovations for Breeding and Seed Products (SIBS), Corteva AgriscienceTM
Bio Information

Blaine Johnson

Blaine Johnson

Adjunct Professor and Lecturer
377I Plant Sciences Hall, East Campus
Bio Information